ta’-nak (ta‘anakh, or ta‘nakh; the Septuagint Tanach, with many variants): A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was slain by Joshua (12:21). It was within the boundaries of the portion of Issachar, but was one of the cities reckoned to Manasseh (Jos 17:11; 1Ch 7:29), and assigned to the Kohathite Levites (Jos 21:25). The Canaanites were not driven out; only at a later time they were set to taskwork (Jos 17:12 f; Jud 1:27 f). Here the great battle was fought when the defeat of Sisera broke the power of the oppressor Jabin (Jud 5:19). It was in the administrative district of Baana ben Ahilud (1Ki 4:12). The name appears in the list of Thothmes III at Karnak; and Shishak records his plundering of Taanach when he invaded Palestine under Jeroboam I (compare 1Ki 14:25 f). Eusebius says in Onomasticon that it is a very large village, 3 miles from Legio. it is represented by the modern Ta‘annek, which stands on a hill at the southwestern edge of the plain of Esdraelon. Megiddo (Tell el-Mutesellim) lies 5 miles to the Northwest. These two places are almost invariably named together. The great highway for traffic, commercial and military, from Babylon and Egypt, ran between them. They were therefore of high strategic importance. Excavations were recently conducted on the site by Professor Sellin, and a series of valuable and deeply interesting discoveries were made, shedding light upon the social and religious life and practices of the inhabitants down to the 1st century BC, through a period of nearly 2,000 years. The Canaanites were the earliest occupants. In accordance with Biblical history, "there is no evidence of a break or abrupt change in the civilization between the Canaanite and the Israelite occupation of Taanach; the excavations Show rather gradual development. The Canaanites will have gradually assimilated the Israelites drawn to them from the villages in the plain" (Driver, Schweich Lectures, 1908, 84). In the work just cited Driver gives an admirable summary of the results obtained by Professor Sellin. In his book on the Religion of Ancient Palestine, Professor Stanley A. Cook has shown, in short compass, what excellent use may be made of the results thus furnished.

W. Ewing


ta’-a-nath-shi’-lo (ta’-anath shiloh; Codex Vaticanus Thenasa kai Sellesa, Tenathselo): A town on the border of the territory of Ephraim named between Michmethath and Janoah (Jos 16:6). According to Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. "Thena") it lay about 10 Roman miles East of Neapolis, on the road to the Jordan. Ptolemy speaks of Thena, probably the same place, as a town in Samaria (Jos 16:5). It may be identified with Ta‘na, a village about 7 miles Southeast of Nablus. Yanun, the ancient Janoah, lies 2 miles to the South. A Roman road from Neapolis to the Jordan valley passed this way. At Ta‘na there are "foundations, caves, cisterns and rockcut tombs" (PEFM, II, 245). This identification being quite satisfactory, the Talmudic notion that Taanath-shiloh was the same place as Shiloh may be dismissed (Jerusalem Talmud, Meghillah, i).

W. Ewing


ta-ba’-oth, tab’-a-oth (tabba‘oth; Tabaoth, Taboth): The name of a family of temple-servants (1 Esdras 5:29) =" Tabbaoth" (Hebrew: Tabba‘oth) of Ezr 2:43; Ne 7:46; perhaps called after the name of a place.

Compare TABBATH.


tab’-ath (Tabbath; Codex Vaticanus Tabath; Gabath): A place named after Abel-meholah in the account of the Midianite flight before Gideon (Jud 7:23). It must therefore have been a place in the Jordan valley to the East of Beth-shan. No trace of the name has yet been recovered.


ta’-be-el: A name meaning "good is God," borne by two persons in the Old Testament (Isa 7:6, the King James Version, "Tabeal").

(1) The father of the man whom the kings of Israel and Damascus planned to place upon the throne of Judah (Isa 7:6). The form of the name Tabhe’el, suggests that he was a Syrian; his son evidently was a tool of Rezin, king of Damascus. The name is vocalized so as to read Tebeal (Tabhe’al), which might be translated "good for nothing," though some explain it as a pausal form, with the ordinary meaning. The change, probably due to a desire to express contempt, is very slight in Hebrew.

(2) A Persian official in Samaria (Tabhe’el) (Ezr 4:7). All that is known of him is that he joined with other officials in sending a letter to Artaxerxes for the purpose of hindering the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

F. C. Eiselen


ta-bel’-i-us (Tabellios): One of the Persian officials in Samaria who wrote a letter to Artaxerxes which caused the rebuilding of Jerusalem to be stopped for a time (1 Esdras 2:16) =" Tabeel" of Ezr 4:7.


ta’-ber (taphaph, "to strike a timbrel" ((Ps 68:25)): The word is used only once in the King James Version, namely, in the exceedingly graphic account of the capture of Nineveh given in Na 2:7. The queen (perhaps the city personified) is dishonored and led into ignominious captivity, followed by a mourning retinue of "maids of honor" who taber upon, that is, beat violently, their breasts. Such drumming on the breasts was a gesture indicative of great grief (Lu 18:3).


tab’-e-ra, ta-be’-ra (tabh‘erah, "burning"): A wilderness camp of the Israelites, the site of which is unidentified. Here, it is recorded, the people complained against Yahweh, who destroyed many of them by fire. This is the origin of the name (Nu 11:3; De 9:22).


(Nu 9:15; 2Ch 24:6, the Revised Version (British and American) "the tent of the testimony").



tab’-er-na-k’l (’ohel mo‘edh "tent of meeting," mishkan, "dwelling"; skene):



1. Earlier "Tent of Meeting"

2. A Stage in Revelation

3. The Tabernacle Proper


1. The Enclosure or Court

2. Structure, Divisions and Furniture of the Tabernacle

(1) Coverings of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:1-14; 36:8-19)

(a) Tabernacle Covering Proper

(b) Tent Covering

(c) Protective Covering

(2) Framework and Divisions of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:15-37; 36:20-38)

Arrangement of Coverings

(3) Furniture of the Sanctuary

(a) The Table of Shewbread

(b) The Candlestick (Lampstand)

(c) The Altar of Incense


1. Removal from Sinai

2. Sojourn at Kadesh

3. Settlement in Canaan

4. Destruction of Shiloh

5. Delocalization of Worship

6. Nob and Gibeon

7. Restoration of the Ark

8. The Two Tabernacles


1. New Testament References

2. God’s Dwelling with Man

3. Symbolism of Furniture


I. Introductory.

Altars sacred to Yahweh were earlier than sacred buildings. Abraham built such detached altars at the Terebinth of Moreh (Ge 12:6,7), and again between Beth-el and Ai (Ge 12:8). Though he built altars in more places than one, his conception of God was already monotheistic. The "Judge of all the earth" (Ge 18:25) was no tribal deity. This monotheistic ideal was embodied and proclaimed in the tabernacle and in the subsequent temples of which the tabernacle was the prototype.

1. Earlier "Tent of Meeting":

The first step toward a habitation for the Deity worshipped at the altar was taken at Sinai, when Moses builded not only "an altar under the mount," but "12 pillars, according to the 12 tribes of Israel" (Ex 24:4). There is no recorded command to this effect, and there was as yet no separated priesthood, and sacrifices were offered by "young men of the children of Israel" (Ex 24:5); but already the need of a separated structure was becoming evident. Later, but still at Sinai, after the sin of the golden calf, Moses is stated to have pitched "the tent" (as if well known: the tense is frequentative, "used to take the tent and to pitch it") "without the camp, afar off," and to have called it, "the tent of meeting," a term often met with afterward (Ex 33:7 ). This "tent" was not yet the tabernacle proper, but served an interim purpose. The ark was not yet made; a priesthood was not yet appointed; it was "without the camp"; Joshua was the sole minister (Ex 33:11). It was a simple place of revelation and of the meeting of the people with Yahweh (Ex 33:7,9-11). Critics, on the other hand, identifying this "tent" with that in Nu 11:16 ff; 12:4 ff; De 31:14,15 (ascribed to the Elohist source), regard it as the primitive tent of the wanderings, and on the ground of these differences from the tabernacle, described later (in the Priestly Code), deny the historicity of the latter. On this see below under B, 4, (5).

2. A Stage in Revelation:

No doubt this localization of the shrine of Yahweh afforded occasion for a possible misconception of Yahweh as a tribal Deity. We must remember that here and throughout we have to do with the education of a people whose instincts and surroundings were by no means monotheistic. It was necessary that their education should begin with some sort of concession to existing ideas. They were not yet, nor for long afterward, capable of the conception of a God who dwelleth not in temples made with hands. So an altar and a tent were given them; but in the fact that this habitation of God was not fixed to one spot, but was removed from place to place in the nomad life of the Israelites, they had a persistent education leading them away from the idea of local and tribal deities.

3. The Tabernacle Proper:

The tabernacle proper is that of which the account is given in Ex 25-27; 30-31; 35-40, with additional details in Nu 3:25 ff; 4:4 ff; 7:1 ff. The central idea of the structure is given in the words, "Make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them" (Ex 25:8). It was the dwelling-place of the holy Yahweh in the midst of His people; also the place of His "meeting" with them (Ex 25:22). The first of these ideas is expressed in the name mishkan; the second in the name ‘ohel mo‘edh (it is a puzzling fact for the critics that in Ex 25-27:19 only mishkan is used; in Exodus 28-31 only ‘ohel mo‘edh; in other sections the names intermingle). The tabernacle was built as became such a structure, according to the "pattern" shown to Moses in the mount (25:9,40; 26:30; compare Ac 7:44; Heb 8:2,5). The modern critical school regards this whole description of the tabernacle as an "ideal" construction—a projection backward by post-exilian imagination of the ideas and dimensions of the Temple of Solomon, the measurements of the latter being throughout halved. Against this violent assumption, however, many things speak. See below under B.

II. Structure.

The ground plan of the Mosaic tabernacle (with its divisions, courts, furniture, etc.) can be made out with reasonable certainty. As respects the actual construction, knotty problems remain, in regard to which the most diverse opinions prevail. Doubt rests also on the precise measurement by cubits (see CUBIT; for a special theory, see W. S. Caldecott, The Tabernacle; Its History and Structure). For simplification the cubit is taken in this article as roughly equivalent to 18 inches.

A first weighty question relates to the shape of the tabernacle. The conventional and still customary conception (Keil, Bahr, A. R. S. Kennedy in HDB, etc.) represents it as an oblong, flat-roofed structure, the rich coverings, over the top, hanging down on either side and at the back—not unlike, to use a figure sometimes employed, a huge coffin with a pall thrown over it. Nothing could be less like a "tent," and the difficulty at once presents itself of how, in such a structure, "sagging" of the roof was to be prevented. Mr. J. Fergusson, in his article "Temple" in Smith’s DB, accordingly, advanced the other conception that the structure was essentially that of a tent, with ridge-pole, sloping roof, and other appurtenances of such an erection. He plausibly, though not with entire success, sought to show how this construction answered accurately to the measurements and other requirements of the text (e.g. the mention of "pins of the tabernacle," Ex 35:18). With slight modification this view here commends itself as having most in its favor.

To avoid the difficulty of the ordinary view, that the coverings, hanging down outside the framework, are unseen from within, except on the roof, it has sometimes been argued that the tapestry covering hung down, not outside, but inside the tabernacle (Keil, Bahr, etc.). It is generally felt that this arrangement is inadmissible. A newer and more ingenious theory is that propounded by A. R. S. Kennedy in his article "Tabernacle" in HDB. It is that the "boards" constituting the framework of the tabernacle were, not solid planks, but really open "frames," through which the finely wrought covering could be seen from within. There is much that is fascinating in this theory, if the initial assumption of the flat roof is granted, but it cannot be regarded as being yet satisfactorily made out. Professor Kennedy argues from the excessive weight of the solid "boards." It might be replied: In a purely "ideal" structure such as he supposes this to be, what does the weight matter? The "boards," however, need not have been so thick or heavy as he represents.

In the more minute details of construction yet greater diversity of opinion obtains, and imagination is often allowed a freedom of exercise incompatible with the sober descriptions of the text.

1. The Enclosure or Court:

The attempt at reconstruction of the tabernacle begins naturally with the "court" (chatser) or outer enclosure in which the tabernacle stood (see COURT OF THE SANCTUARY). The description is given in Ex 27:9-18; 38:9-20. The court is to be conceived of as an enclosed space of 100 cubits (150 ft.) in length, and 50 cubits (75 ft.) in breadth, its sides formed (with special arrangement for the entrance) by "hangings" or curtains (qela‘im) of "fine twined linen," 5 cubits (7 1/2 ft.) in height, supported by pillars of brass (bronze) 5 cubits apart, to which the hangings were attached by "hooks" and "fillets" of silver. It thus censisted of two squares of 50 cubits each, in the anterior of which (the easterly) stood the "altar of burnt-offering" (see ALTAR), and the "layer" (see LAVER), and in the posterior (the westerly) the tabernacle itself. From Ex 30:17-21 we learn that the laver—a large (bronze) vessel for the ablutions of the priests—stood between the altar and the tabernacle (Ex 30:18) The pillars were 60 in number, 20 being reckoned to the longer sides (North and South), and 10 each to the shorter (East and West). The pillars were set in "sockets" or bases (’edhen) of brass (bronze), and had "capitals" (the King James Version and the English Revised Version "chapiters") overlaid with silver (Ex 38:17). The "fillets" are here, as usually, regarded as silver rods connecting the pillars; some, however, as Ewald, Dillmann, Kennedy, take the "fillet" to be an ornamental band round the base of the capital. On the eastern side was the "gate" or entrance. This was formed by a "screen" (macakh) 20 cubits (30 ft.) in breadth, likewise of fine twined linen, but distinguished from the other (white) hangings by being embroidered in blue, and purple, and scarlet (see EAST GATE). The hangings on either side of the "gate" were 15 cubits in breadth. The 10 pillars of the east side are distributed—4 to the entrance screen, 3 on either side to the hangings. The enumeration creates some difficulty till it is remembered that in the reckoning round the court no pillar is counted twice, and that the corner pillars and those on either side of the entrance had each to do a double duty. The reckoning is really by the 5-cubit spaces between the pillars. Mention is made (Ex 27:19; 38:20) of the "pins" of the court, as well as of the tabernacle, by means of which, in the former case, the pillars were held in place. These also were of brass (bronze).

2. Structure, Divisions and Furniture of the Tabernacle:

In the inner of the two squares of the court was reared the tabernacle—a rectangular oblong structure, 30 cubits (45 ft.) long and 10 cubits (15 ft.) broad, divided into two parts, a holy and a most holy (Ex 26:33). Attention has to be given here

(1) to the coverings of the tabernacle,

(2) to its framework and divisions, and

(3) to its furniture.

(1) Coverings of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:1-14; 36:8-19).

The wooden framework of the tabernacle to be afterward described had 3 coverings—one, the immediate covering of the tabernacle or "dwelling," called by the same name, mishkan (Ex 26:1,6); a second, the tent" covering of goats’ hair; and a third, a protective covering of rams’ and seal- (or porpoise-) skins, cast over the whole.

(a) Tabernacle Covering Proper:

The covering of the tabernacle proper (Ex 26:1-6) consisted of 10 curtains (yeri‘oth, literally, "breadth") of fine twined linen, beautifully-woven with blue, and purple, and scarlet, and with figures of cherubim. The 10 curtains, each 28 cubits long and 4 cubits broad, were joined together in sets of 5 to form 2 large curtains, which again were fastened by 50 loops and clasps (the King James Version "taches") of gold, so as to make a single great curtain 40 cubits (60 ft.) long, and 28 cubits (42 ft.) broad.

(b) Tent Covering:

The "tent" covering (Ex 26:7-13) was formed by 11 curtains of goats hair, the length in this case being 30 cubits, and the breadth 4 cubits. These were joined in sets of 5 and 6 curtains, and as before the two divisions were coupled by 50 loops and clasps (this time of bronze), into one great curtain of 44 cubits (66 ft.) in length and 30 cubits (45 ft.) in breadth—an excess of 4 cubits in length and 2 in breadth over the fine tabernacle curtain.

(c) Protective Covering:

Finally, for purposes of protection, coverings were ordered to be made (Ex 26:14) for the "tent" of rams’ skins dyed red, and of seal-skins or porpoise-skins (English Versions of the Bible, "badgers’ skins"). The arrangement of the coverings is considered below.

(2) Framework and Division of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:15-37; 36:20-38)

The framework of the tabernacle was, as ordinarily understood, composed of upright "boards" of acacia wood, forming 3 sides of the oblong structure, the front being closed by an embroidered screen," depending from 5 pillars (Ex 26:36,37; see below). These boards, 48 in number (20 each for the north and south sides, and 8 for the west side), were 10 cubits (15 ft.) in height, and 1 1/2 cubits (2 ft. 3 in.) in breadth (the thickness is not given), and were overlaid with gold. They were set by means of "tenons" (literally, "hands"), or projections at the foot, 2 for each board, in 96 silver "sockets," or bases ("a talent for a socket," Ex 38:27). In the boards were "rings" of gold, through which were passed 3 horizontal "bars," to hold the parts together—the middle bar, apparently, on the long sides, extending from end to end (Ex 26:28), the upper and lower bars being divided in the center (5 bars in all on each side). The bars, like the boards, were overlaid with gold. Some obscurity rests on the arrangement at the back: 6 of the boards were of the usual breadth (= 9 cubits), but the 2 corner boards appear to have made up only a cubit between them (Ex 26:22-24). Notice has already been taken of theory (Kennedy, article "Tabernacle," HDB) that the so-called "boards" were not really such, but were open "frames," the 2 uprights of which, joined by crosspieces, are the "tenons" of the text. It seems unlikely, if this was meant, that it should not be more distinctly explained. The enclosure thus constructed was next divided into 2 apartments, separated by a "veil," which hung from 4 pillars overlaid with gold and resting in silver sockets. Like the tabernacle-covering, the veil was beautifully woven with blue, purple, and scarlet, and with figures of cherubim (Ex 26:31,32; see VEIL). The outer of these chambers, or holy place" was as usually computed, 20 cubits long by 10 broad; the inner, or most holy place, was 10 cubits square. The "door of the tent" (Ex 26:36) was formed, as already stated, by a "screen," embroidered with the above colors, and depending from 5 pillars in bronze sockets. Here also the hooks were of gold, and the pillars and their capitals overlaid with gold (Ex 36:38).

Arrangement of Coverings:

Preference has already been expressed for Mr. Fergusson’s idea that the tabernacle was not flat-roofed, the curtains being cast over it like drapery, but was tentlike in shape, with ridge-pole, and a sloping roof, raising the total height to 15 cubits. Passing over the ridge pole, and descending at an angle, 14 cubits on either side, the inner curtain would extend 5 cubits beyond the walls of the tabernacle, making an awning of that width North and South, while the goats’-hair covering above it, 2 cubits wider, would hang below it a cubit on either side. The whole would be held in position by ropes secured by bronze tent-pins to the ground (Ex 27:19; 38:31). The scheme has obvious advantages in that it preserves the idea of a "tent," conforms to the principal measurements, removes the difficulty of "sagging" on the (flat) roof, and permits of the golden boards, bars and rings, on the outside, and of the finely wrought tapestry, on the inside, being seen (Professor Kennedy provides for the latter by his "frames," through which the curtain would be visible). On the other hand, it is not to be concealed that the construction proposed presents several serious difficulties. The silence of the text about a ridge-pole, supporting pillars, and other requisites of Mr. Fergusson’s scheme (his suggestion that "the middle bar" of Ex 26:28 may be the ridge-pole is quite untenable), may be got over by assuming that these parts are taken for granted as understood in tent-construction. But this does not apply to other adjustments, especially those connected with the back and front of the tabernacle. It was seen above that the inner covering was 40 cubits in length, while the tabernacle-structure was 30 cubits. How is this excess of 10 cubits in the tapestry-covering dealt with? Mr. Fergusson, dividing equally, supposes a porch of 5 cubits at the front, and a space of 5 cubits also behind, with hypothetical pillars. The text, however, is explicit that the veil dividing the holy from the most holy place was hung "under the clasps" (Ex 26:33), i.e. on this hypothesis, midway in the structure, or 15 cubits from either end. Either, then,

(1) the idea must be abandoned that the holy place was twice the length of the Holy of Holies (20 X 10; it is to be observed that the text does not state the proportions, which are inferred from those of Solomon’s Temple), or

(2) Mr. Fergusson’s arrangement must be given up, and the division of the curtain be moved back 5 cubits, depriving him of his curtain for the porch, and leaving 10 cubits to be disposed of in the rear. Another difficulty is connected with the porch itself. No clear indication of such a porch is given in the text, while the 5 pillars "for the screen" (Ex 26:37) are most naturally taken to be, like the latter, at the immediate entrance of the tabernacle. Mr. Fergusson, on the other hand, finds it necessary to separate pillars and screen, and to place the pillars 5 cubits farther in front. He is right, however, in saying that the 5th pillar naturally suggests a ridge-pole; in his favor also is the fact that the extra breadth of the overlying tentcovering was to hang down, 2 cubits at the front, and 2 cubits at the back of the tabernacle (Ex 26:9,12). It is possible that there was a special disposition of the inner curtain—that belonging peculiarly to the "dwelling"—"according to which its "clasps" lay above the "veil" of the Holy of Holies (20 cubits from the entrance), and its hinder folds closed the aperture at the rear which otherwise would have admitted light into the secrecy of the shrine. But constructions of this kind must ever remain more or less conjectural.

The measurements in the above reckoning are internal. Dr. Kennedy disputes this, but the analogy of the temple is against his view.

(3) Furniture of the Sanctuary

The furniture of the sanctuary is described in Ex 25:10-40 (ark, table of shewbread, candlestick); 30:1-10 (altar of incense); compare Exodus 37 for making. In the innermost shrine, the Holy of Holies, the sole object was the ark of the covenant, overlaid within and without with pure gold, with its molding and rings of gold, its staves overlaid with gold passed through the rings, and its lid or covering of solid gold—the propitiatory or mercy-seat—at either end of which, of one piece with it. (25:19; 37:8), stood cherubim, with wings outstretched over the mercy-seat and with faces turned toward it (for details see ARK OF THE COVENANT; MERCY-SEAT; CHERUBIM). This was the meeting-place of Yahweh and His people through Moses (25:22). The ark contained only the two tables of stone, hence its name "the ark of the testimony" (25:16,22). It is not always realized how small an object the ark was—only 2 1/2 cubits (3 ft. 9 in.) long, 1 1/2 cubits (2 ft. 3 in.) broad, and the same (1 1/2 cubits) high.

The furniture of the outer chamber of the tabernacle consisted of

(a) the table of shewbread;

(b) the golden candlestick:

(c) the altar of incense, or golden altar.

These were placed, the table of shewbread on the north side (Ex 40:22), the candlestick on the south side (Ex 40:24), and the altar of incense in front of the veil, in the holy place.

(a) The Table of Shewbread:

The table of shewbread was a small table of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, with a golden rim round the top, gold rings at the corners of its 4 feet, staves for the rings, and a "border" (at middle?) joining the legs, holding them together. Its dimensions were 2 cubits (3 ft.) long, 1 cubit (18 inches) broad, and 1 1/2 cubits (2 ft. 3 inches) high. On it were placed 12 cakes, renewed each week, in 2 piles (compare Le 24:5-9), together with dishes (for the bread), spoons (incense cups), flagons and bowls (for drink offerings), all of pure gold.


(b) The Candlestick:

The candlestick or lampstand was the article on which most adornment was lavished. It was of pure gold, and consisted of a central stem (in Ex 25:32-35 this specially receives the name "candlestick"), with 3 curved branches on either side, all elegantly wrought with cups of almond blossom, knops, and flowers (lilies?)—3 of this series to each branch and 4 to the central stem. Upon the 6 branches and the central stem were 7 lamps from which the light issued. Connected with the candlestick were snuffers and snuff-dishes for the wicks—all of gold. The candlestick was formed from a talent of pure gold (Ex 25:38).


(c) The Altar of Incense:

The description of the altar of incense occurs (Ex 30:1-10) for some unexplained reason or displacement out of the place where it might be expected, but this is no reason for throwing doubt (with some) upon its existence. It was a small altar, overlaid with gold, a cubit (18 in.) square, and 2 cubits (3 ft.) high, with 4 horns. On it was burned sweet-smelling incense. It had the usual golden rim, golden rings, and gold-covered staves.


III. History.

1. Removal from Sinai:

We may fix 1220 BC as the approximate date of the introduction of the tabernacle. It was set up at Sinai on the 1st day of the 1st month of the 2nd year (Ex 40:2,17), i.e. 14 days before the celebration of the Passover on the first anniversary of the exodus (see CHRONOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, sec. VII, VIII). When the people resumed their journey, the ark was wrapped in the veil which had served to isolate the most holy place (Nu 4:5). This and the two altars were carried upon the shoulders of the children of Kohath, a descendant of Levi, and were removed under the personal supervision of the high priest (Nu 3:31,32; 4:15). The rest of the dismembered structure was carried in six covered wagons, offered by the prince, each drawn by two oxen (Nu 7). Doubtless others were provided for the heavier materials (compare Keil). Before leaving Sinai the brazen altar had been dedicated, and utensils of gold and silver had been presented for use at the services. The tabernacle had been standing at Sinai during 50 days (Nu 10:11).

2. Sojourn at Kadesh:

The journey lay along the "great and terrible wilderness" between Horeb in the heart of Arabia and Kadesh-barnea in the Negeb of Judah; of the 40 years occupied in the journey to Canaan, nearly 38 were spent at Kadesh, a fact not always clearly recognized. The tabernacle stood here during 37 years (one year being occupied in a punitive journey southward to the shore of the Red Sea). During this whole time the ordinary sacrifices were not offered (Am 5:25), though it is possible that the appropriate seasons were nevertheless marked in more than merely chronological fashion. Few incidents are recorded as to these years, and little mention is made of the tabernacle throughout the whole journey except that the ark of the covenant preceded the host when on the march (Nu 10:33-36). It is the unusual that is recorded; the daily aspect of the tabernacle and the part it played in the life of the people were among the things recurrent and familiar.

3. Settlement in Canaan:

When, at last, the Jordan was crossed, the first consideration, presumably, was to find a place on which to pitch the sacred tent, a place hitherto uninhabited and free from possible defilement by human graves. Such a place was found in the neighborhood of Jericho, and came to be known as Gilgal (Jos 4:19; 5:10; 9:6; 10:6,43). Gilgal, however, was always regarded as a temporary site. The tabernacle is not directly mentioned in connection with it. The question of a permanent location was the occasion of mutual jealousy among the tribes, and was at last settled by the removal of the tabernacle to Shiloh, in the territory of Ephraim, a place conveniently central for attendance of all adult males at the three yearly festivals, without the zone of war, and also of some strategic importance. During the lifetime of Joshua, therefore, the tabernacle was removed over the 20 miles, or less, which separated Shiloh among the hills from Gilgal in the lowlands (Jos 18:1; 19:51). While at Shiloh it seems to have acquired some accessories of a more permanent kind (1Sa 1:9, etc.), which obtained for it the name "temple" (1Sa 1:9; 3:3).

4. Destruction of Shiloh:

During the period of the Judges the nation lost the fervor of its earlier years and was in imminent danger of apostasy. The daily services of the tabernacle were doubtless observed after a perfunctory manner, but they seem to have had little effect upon the people, either to soften their manners or raise their morals. In the early days of Samuel war broke out afresh with the Philistines. At a council of war the unprecedented proposal was made to fetch the ark of the covenant from Shiloh (1Sa 4:1 ). Accompanied by the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas—it arrived in the camp and was welcomed by a shout which was heard in the hostile camp. It was no longer Yahweh but the material ark that was the hope of Israel, so low had the people fallen. Eli himself, at that time high priest, must at least have acquiesced in this superstition. It ended in disaster. The ark was taken by the Philistines, its two guardians were slain, and Israel was helpless before its enemies. Though the Hebrew historians are silent about what followed, it is certain that Shiloh itself fell into the hands of the Philistines. The very destruction of it accounts for the silence of the historians, for it would have been at the central sanctuary there, the center and home of what literary culture there was in Israel during this stormy period, that chronicles of events would be kept. Ps 78:60 ff no doubt has reference to this overthrow, and it is referred to in Jer 7:12. The tabernacle itself does not seem to have been taken by the Philistines, as it is met with later at Nob.

5. Delocalization of Worship:

For lack of a high priest of character, Samuel himself seems now to have become the head of religious worship. It is possible that the tabernacle may have been again removed to Gilgal, as it was there that Samuel appointed Saul to meet him in order to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings. The ark, however, restored by the Philistines, remained at Kiriath-jearim (1Sa 7:1,2), while courts for ceremonial, civil, and criminal administration were held, not only at Gilgal, but at other places, as Beth-el, Mizpah and Ramah (1Sa 7:15-17), places which acquired a quasi-ecclesiastical sanctity. This delocalization of the sanctuary was no doubt revolutionary, but it is partly explained by the fact that even in the tabernacle there was now no ark before which to burn incense. Of the half-dozen places bearing the name of Ramah, this, which was Samuel’s home, was the one near to Hebron, where to this day the foundations of what may have been Samuel’s sacred enclosure may be seen at the modern Ramet-el-Khalil.

6. Nob and Gibeon:

We next hear of the tabernacle at Nob, with Ahimelech, a tool of Saul (probably the Ahijah of 1Sa 14:3), as high priest (1Sa 21:1 ). This Nob was 4 miles to the North of Jerusalem and was more-over a high place, 30 ft. higher than Zion. It does not follow that the tabernacle was placed at the top of the hill. Here it remained a few years, till after the massacre by Saul of all the priests at Nob save one, Abiathar (1Sa 22:11 ). Subsequently, possibly by Saul himself, it was removed to Gibeon (1Ch 16:39; 21:29). Gibeon was 6 miles from Jerusalem, and 7 from Beth-el, and may have been chosen for its strategic advantage as well as for the fact that it was already inhabited by priests, and was Saul’s ancestral city.

7. Restoration of the Ark:

This removal by Saul, if he was the author of it, was recognized afterward by David as a thing done, with which he did not think it wise to interfere (of 1Ch 16:40). On his capturing the fortress of Jebus (later Jerusalem), and building himself a "house" there, David prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent on Zion in imitation of the tabernacle at Gibeon (2Sa 6:17 ff; 1Ch 16:1). He must also have provided an altar, for we read of burnt offerings and peace offerings being made there. Meanwhile the ark had been brought from Kiriath-jearim, where it had lain so long; it was restored in the presence of a concourse of people representing the whole nation, the soldiery and civilians delivering it to the priests (2Sa 6:1 ). On this journey Uzzah was smitten for touching the ark. Arrived near Jerusalem, the ark was carried into the house of Obed-edom, a Levite, and remained there for 3 months. At the end of this time it was carried into David’s tabernacle with all fitting solemnity and honor.

8. The Two Tabernacles:

Hence, it was that there were now two tabernacles, the original one with its altar at Gibeon, and the new one with the original ark in Jerusalem, both under the protection of the king. Both, however, were soon to be superseded by the building of a temple. The altar at Gibeon continued in use till the time of Solomon. Of all the actual material of the tabernacle, the ark alone remained unchanged in the temple. The tabernacle itself, with its sacred vessels, was brought up to Jerusalem, and was preserved, apparently, as a sacred relic in the temple (1Ki 8:4). Thus, after a history of more than 200 years, the tabernacle ceases to appear in history.

IV. Symbolism.

Though the tabernacle was historically the predecessor of the later temples, as a matter of fact, the veil was the only item actually retained throughout the series of temples. Nevertheless it is the tabernacle rather than the temple which has provided a substructure for much New Testament teaching. All the well-known allusions of the writer to the Hebrews, e.g. in chapters 9 and 10, are to the tabernacle, rather than to any later temple.

1. New Testament References:

In general the tabernacle is the symbol of God’s dwelling with His people (Ex 25:8; compare 1Ki 8:27), an idea in process of realization in more and more perfect forms till it reaches its completion in the carnation of the Word ("The Word became flesh, and dwelt (Greek "tabernacled") among us," Joh 1:14; compare 2Co 5:1), in the church collectively (2Co 6:16) and in the individual believer (1Co 6:19) and finally in the eternal glory (Re 2:13 ). In the Epistle to the Hebrews, the locus classicus of the tabernacle in Christian thought, the idea is more cosmical—the tabernacle in its holy and most holy divisions representing the earthly and the heavenly spheres of Christ’s activity. The Old Testament was but a shadow of the eternal substance, an indication of the true ideal (Heb 8:5; 10:1). The tabernacle in which Christ ministered was a tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man (Heb 8:2). He is the high priest of "the greater and more perfect tabernacle" (Heb 9:11). "Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us" (Heb 9:24). The symbolical significance of the tabernacle and its worship is not, however, confined to the Epistle to the Hebrews. It must be admitted that Paul. does not give prominence to the tabernacle symbolism, and further, that his references are to things common to the tabernacle and the temple. But Paul speaks of "the layer of regeneration" (Tit 3:5 the Revised Version margin), and of Christ, who "gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for an odor of a sweet smell" (Eph 5:2). The significance which the synoptic writers give to the rending of the veil of the temple (Mt 27:51; Mr 15:38; Lu 23:45) shows how this symbolism entered deeply into their thought and was felt by them to have divine attestation in this supernatural fact. The way into the holiest of all, as the writer to the Hebrews says, was now made manifest (9:8; 10:19,20).

2. God’s Dwelling with Man:

The suggestion which underlies all such New Testament references is not only that Christ, in His human manifestation, was both tabernacle and priest, altar and sacrifice, but also, and still more, that God ever has His dwelling among men, veiled no doubt from the unbelieving and insincere, but always manifest and accessible to the faithful and devout. As we have a great high priest who is now passed into the heavens, there to appear in our behalf in the true tabernacle, so we ourselves have permission and encouragement to enter into the holiest place of all on earth by the blood of the everlasting covenant. Of the hopes embodied in these two planes of thought, the earthly tabernacle was the symbol, and contained the prospect and foretaste of the higher communion. It is this which has given the tabernacle such an abiding hold on the imagination and veneration of the Christian church in all lands and languages.

3. Symbolism of Furniture:

The symbolism of the various parts of the tabernacle furniture is tolerably obvious, and is considered under the different headings. The ark of the covenant with its propitiatory was the symbol of God’s gracious meeting with His people on the ground of atonement (compare Ro 3:25; see ARK OF THE COVENANT). The twelve cakes of shewbread denote the twelve tribes of Israel, and their presentation is at once an act of gratitude for that which is the support of life, and, symbolically, a dedication of the life thus supported; the candlestick speaks to the calling of Israel to be a people of light (compare Jesus in Mt 5:14-16); the rising incense symbolizes the act of prayer (compare Re 5:8; 8:3).


See the articles on "Tabernacle" and "Temple" in Smith’s DB, HDB, EB, The Temple BD, etc.; also the commentaries. on Exodus (the Speaker’s Pulpit Commentary, Keil’s, Lange’s, etc.); Bahr, Symbolik d. Mosaischen Cult; Keil, Archaeology, I, 98 ff (English translation); Westcott, essay on "The General Significance of the Tabernacle," in his Hebrews; Brown, The Tabernacle (1899); W. S. Caldecott, The Tabernacle: Its History and Structure. See the articles in this Encyclopedia on the special parts of the tabernacle.

See also TEMPLE.

W. Shaw Caldecott

James Orr





1. Not Stated, That the Temple Was Constructed after the Pattern of the Tabernacle

2. No Trace of the Tabernacle in Pre-Solomonic Times

3. The Tabernacle Could Not Have Been Built as Exodus Describes

4. Biblical Account Contains Marks of Its Unhistorical Character

5. Pre-exilic Prophets Knew Nothing of Levitical System of Which the Tabernacle Was Said to Be the Center.


I. Conservative and Critical Views.

The conservative view of Scripture finds:

(1) that the tabernacle was constructed by Moses in the wilderness of Sinai;

(2) that it was fashioned according to a pattern shown to him in the Mount;

(3) that it was designed to be and was the center of sacrificial worship for the tribes in the wilderness; and

(4) that centuries later the Solomonic Temple was constructed after it as a model.

However, the critical (higher) view of Scripture says:

(1) that the tabernacle never existed except on paper;

(2) that it was a pure creation of priestly imagination sketched after or during the exile;

(3) that it was meant to be a miniature sanctuary on the model of Solomon’s Temple;

(4) that it was represented as having been built in the wilderness for the purpose of legitimizing the newly-published Priestly Code (P) or Levitical ritual still preserved in the middle books of the Pentateuch; and

(5) that the description of the tabernacle furnished in the Priestly Code (P) (Ex 25-31; 36-40; Nu 2:2,17; 5:1-4; 14:44) conflicts with that given in the Elohist (E) (Ex 33:7-11), both as to its character and its location.

The principal grounds on which it is proposed to set aside the conservative viewpoint and put in its place the critical theory are these:

II. Arguments in Support of the Critical Theory Examined.

(1) It is nowhere stated that Solomon’s Temple was constructed after the pattern of the Mosaic tabernacle; hence, it is reasonable to infer that the Mosaic tabernacle had no existence when or before the Solomonic Temple was built.

(2) No trace of the Mosaic tabernacle can be found in the pre-Solomonic period, from which it is clear that no such tabernacle existed.

(3) The Mosaic tabernacle could not have been produced as Exodus describes, and, accordingly, the story must be relegated to the limbo of romance.

(4) The Biblical account of the Mosaic tabernacle bears internal marks of its completely unhistorical character.

(5) The pre-exilic prophets knew nothing of the Levitical system of which the Mosaic tabernacle was the center, and hence, the whole story must be set down as a sacred legend.

These assertions demand examination:

1. Not Stated, That the Temple Was Constructed after the Pattern of the Tabernacle:

It is urged that nowhere is it stated that Solomon’s Temple was fashioned after the pattern of the Mosaic tabernacle. Wellhausen thinks (GI, chapter i, 3, p. 44) that, had it been so, the narrators in Kings and Chronicles would have said so. "At least," he writes, "one would have expected that in the report concerning the building of the new sanctuary, casual mention would have been made of the old." And so there was—in 1Ki 8:4 and 2Ch 5:5. Of course, it is contended that "the tent of meeting" referred to in these passages was not the Mosaic tabernacle of Ex 25, but simply a provisional shelter for the ark—though in P the Mosaic tabernacle bears the same designation (Ex 27:21). Conceding, however, for the sake of argument, that the tent of the historical books was not the Mosaic tabernacle of Exodus, and that this is nowhere spoken of as the model on which Solomon’s Temple was constructed, does it necessarily follow that because the narrators in Kings and Chronicles did not expressly state that Solomon’s Temple was built after the pattern of the Mosaic tabernacle, therefore the Mosaic tabernacle had no existence when the narrators wrote? If it does, then the same logic will demonstrate the non-existence of Solomon’s Temple before the exile, because when the writer of P was describing the Mosaic tabernacle he made no mention whatever about its being a miniature copy of Solomon’s Temple. A reductio ad absurdum like this disposes of the first of the five pillars upon which the new theory rests.

2. No Trace of the Tabernacle in Pre-Solomonic Times

It is alleged that no trace of the Mosaic tabernacle can be found in pre-Solomonic times. On the principle that silence about a person, thing or event does not prove the non-existence of the person or thing or the non-occurrence of the event, this 2nd argument might fairly be laid aside as irrelevant. Yet it will be more satisfactory to ask, if the assertion be true, why no trace of the tabernacle can be detected in the historical books in pre-Solomonic times. The answer is, that of course it is true, if the historical books be first "doctored," i.e. gone over and dressed to suit theory, by removing from them every passage, sentence, clause and word that seems to indicate, presuppose or imply the existence of the tabernacle, and such passage, sentence, clause and word assigned to a late R who inserted it into the original text to give color to his theory, and support to his fiction that the Mosaic tabernacle and its services originated in the wilderness. Could this theory be established on independent grounds, i.e. by evidence derived from other historical documents, without tampering with the sacred narrative, something might be said for its plausibility. But every scholar knows that not a particle of evidence has ever been, or is likely ever to be, adduced in its support beyond what critics themselves manufacture in the way described. That they do find traces of the Mosaic tabernacle in the historical books, they unconsciously and unintentionally allow by their efforts to explain such traces away, which moreover they can only do by denouncing these traces as spurious and subjecting them to a sort of surgical operation in order to excise them from the body of the text. But these so-called spurious traces are either true or they are not true. If they are true, whoever inserted them, then they attest the existence of the tabernacle, first at Shiloh, and afterward at Nob, later at Gibeon, and finally at Jerusalem; if they are not true, then some other things in the narrative must be written down as imagination, as, e.g. the conquest of the land, and its division among the tribes, the story of the altar on the East of Jordan, the ministry of the youthful Samuel at Shiloh, and of Ahimelech at Nob.

(1) The Mosaic Tabernacle at Shiloh.

That the structure at Shiloh (1Sa 1:3,9,19,24; 2:11,12; 3:3) was the Mosaic tabernacle everything recorded about it shows. It contained the ark of God, called also the ark of the covenant of God and the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, or more fully the ark of the covenant of Yahweh of Hosts, names, especially the last, which for the ark associated with the tabernacle were not unknown in the period of the wandering. It had likewise a priesthood and a sacrificial worship of three parts—offering sacrifice (in the forecourt), burning incense (in the holy place), and wearing an ephod (in the Holy of Holies)—which at least bore a close resemblance to the cult of the tabernacle, and in point of fact claimed to have been handed down from Aaron. Then Elkanah’s pious custom of going up yearly from Ramathaim-zophim to Shiloh to worship and to sacrifice unto Yahweh of Hosts suggests that in his day Shiloh was regarded as the central high place and that the law of the three yearly feasts (Ex 23:14; Le 23:1-18; De 16:16) was not unknown, though perhaps only partially observed; while the statement about "the women who did service at the door of the tent of meeting" as clearly points back to the similar female institution in connection with the tabernacle (Ex 38:8). To these considerations it is objected (a) that the Shiloh sanctuary was not the Mosaic tabernacle, which was a portable tent, but a solid structure with posts and doors, and

(b) that even if it was not a solid structure but a tent, it could be left at any moment without the ark, in which case it could not have been the Mosaic tabernacle of which the ark was an "inseparable companion"; while

(c) if it was the ancient "dwelling" of Yahweh, it could not have been made the dormitory of Samuel.


(a) while it need not be denied that the Shiloh sanctuary possessed posts and doors—Jer 7:12 seems to admit that it was a structure which might be laid in ruins—yet this does not warrant the conclusion that the Mosaic tabernacle had no existence in Shiloh. It is surely not impossible or even improbable that, when the tabernacle had obtained a permanent location at Shiloh, and that for nearly 400 years (compare above under A, III, 1, 8 and see CHRONOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, VII, VIII), during the course of these centuries a porch with posts and doors may have been erected before the curtain that formed the entrance to the holy place, or that strong buildings may have been put up around it as houses for the priests and Levites, as treasure-chambers, and such like—thus causing it to present the appearance of a palace or house with the tabernacle proper in its interior. Then

(b) as to the impossibility of the ark being taken from the tabernacle, as was done when it was captured by the Philistines, there is no doubt that there were occasions when it was not only legitimate, but expressly commanded to separate the ark from the tabernacle, though the war with the Philistines was not one. In Nu 10:33, it is distinctly stated that the ark, by itself, went before the people when they marched through the wilderness; and there is ground for thinking that during the Benjamite war the ark was with divine sanction temporarily removed from Shiloh to Beth-el (Jud 20:26,27) and, when the campaign closed, brought back again to Shiloh (Jud 21:12).

(c) As for the notion that the Shiloh sanctuary could not have been the Mosaic tabernacle because Samuel is said to have slept in it beside the ark of God, it should be enough to reply that the narrative does not say or imply that Samuel had converted either the holy place or the most holy into a private bedchamber, but merely that he lay down to sleep "in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was," doubtless "in the court where cells were built for the priests and Levites to live in when serving at the sanctuary" (Keil). But even if it did mean that the youthful Samuel actually slept in the Holy of Holies, one fails to see how an abuse like that may not have occurred in a time so degenerate as that of Eli, or how, if it did, it would necessarily prove that the Shiloh shrine was not the Mosaic tabernacle.

(2) The Mosaic Tabernacle at Nob.

That the sanctuary at Nob (1Sa 21:1-6) was the Mosaic tabernacle may be inferred from the following circumstances:

(a) that it had a high priest with 85 ordinary priests, a priest’s ephod, and a table of shewbread;

(b) that the eating of the shewbread was conditioned by the same law of ceremonial purity as prevailed in connection with the Mosaic tabernacle (Le 15:18); and

(c) that the Urim was employed there by the priest to ascertain the divine will—all of which circumstances pertained to the Mosaic tabernacle and to no other institution known among the Hebrews.

If the statement (1Ch 13:3) that the ark was not inquired at in the days of Saul calls for explanation, that explanation is obviously this, that during Saul’s reign the ark was dissociated from the tabernacle, being lodged in the house of Abinadab at Kiriath-jearim, and was accordingly in large measure forgotten. The statement (1Sa 14:18) that Saul in his war with the Philistines commanded Ahijah, Eli’s great-grandson, who was "the priest of the Lord in Shiloh, wearing an ephod" (1Sa 14:3) to fetch up the ark—if 1Sa 14:18 should not rather be read according to the Septuagint, "Bring hither the ephod"—can only signify that on this particular occasion it was fetched from Kiriath-jearim at the end of 20 years and afterward returned thither. This, however, is not a likely supposition; and for the Septuagint reading it can be said that the phrase "Bring hither" was never used in connection with the ark; that the ark was never employed for ascertaining the Divine Will, but the ephod was; and that the Hebrew text in 1Sa 14:18 seems corrupt, the last clause reading "for the ark of God was at that day and the sons of Israel," which is not extremely intelligible.

(3) The Mosaic Tabernacle at Gibeon.

The last mention of the Mosaic tabernacle occurs in connection with the building of Solomon’s Temple (1Ki 8:4; 2Ch 1:3; 5:3), when it is stated that the ark of the covenant and the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tent were solemnly fetched up into the house which Solomon had built. That what is here called the tabernacle of the congregation, or the tent of meeting, was not the Mosaic tabernacle has been maintained on the following grounds:

(a) that had it been so, David, when he fetched up the ark from Obed-edom’s house, would not have pitched for it a tent in the city of David, but would have lodged it in Gibeon;

(b) that had the Gibeon shrine been the Mosaic tabernacle it would not have been called as it is in Kings, "a great high place";

(c) that had the Gibeon shrine been the Mosaic tabernacle, Solomon would not have required to cast new vessels for his Temple, as he is reported to have done; and

(d) that had the Gibeon shrine been the Mosaic tabernacle the brazen altar would not have been left behind at Gibeon but would also have been conveyed to Mt. Moriah.


(a) if it was foolish and wrong for David not to lodge the ark in Gibeon, that would not make it certain that the Mosaic tabernacle was not at Gibeon. That it was either foolish or wrong, however, is not clear. David may have reckoned that if the house of Obed-edom had derived special blessing from the presence of the ark in it for three months, possibly it would be for the benefit of his (David’s) house and kingdom to have the ark permanently in his capital. And in addition, David may have remembered that God had determined to choose out a place for His ark, and in answer to prayer David may have been directed to fetch the ark to Jerusalem. As good a supposition this, at any rate, as that of the critics.

(b) That the Gibeon shrine should have been styled "the great high place" (1Ki 3:4) is hardly astonishing, when one calls to mind that it was the central sanctuary, as being the seat of the Mosaic tabernacle with its brazen altar. And may not the designation "high place," or bamah, have been affixed to it just because, through want of its altar, it had dwindled down into a mere shadow of the true sanctuary and become similar to the other "high places" or bamoth?

(c) The casting of new vessels for Solomon’s Temple needs no other explanation than this, that the new house was at least twice as spacious as the old, and that in any case it was fitting that the new house should have new furniture.

(d) That the brazen altar would not have been left behind at Gibeon when the Mosaic tabernacle was removed, may be met by the demand for proof that it was actually left behind. That it was left behind is a pure conjecture. That it was transplanted to Jerusalem and along with the other tabernacle utensils laid up in a side chamber of the temple is as likely an assumption as any other (see 1Ki 8:4).

3. The Tabernacle Could Not Have Been Built as Exodus Describes

It is maintained that the Mosaic tabernacle could not have been produced as Exodus describes:

(1) that the time was too short,

(2) that the Israelites were too little qualified, and

(3) that the materials at their disposal were too scanty for the construction of so splendid a building as the Mosaic tabernacle.


(1) does any intelligent person believe that 9 months was too short a time for 600,000 able-bodied men, to say nothing of their women and children, to build a wooden house 30 cubits long, 10 high and 10 broad, with not as many articles in it as a well-to-do artisan’s kitchen oftentimes contains?

(2) Is it at all likely that they were so ill-qualified for the work as the objection asserts? The notion that the Israelites were a horde of savages or simply a tribe of wandering nomads does not accord with fact. They had been bond-men, it is true, in the land of Ham; but they and their fathers had lived there for 400 years; and it is simply incredible, as even Knobel puts it, that they should not have learnt something of the mechanical articles One would rather be disposed to hold that they must have had among them at the date of the Exodus a considerable number of skilled artisans. At least, archaeology has shown that if the escaped bondsmen knew nothing of the arts and sciences, it was not because their quondam masters had not been able to instruct them. The monuments offer silent witness that every art required by the manufacturers existed at the moment in Egypt, as e.g. the arts of metal-working, wood-carving, leather-making, weaving and spinning. And surely no one will contend that the magnificent works of art, the temples and tombs, palaces and pyramids, that are the world’s wonder today, were the production always and exclusively of native Egyptian and never of Hebrew thought and labor! Nor

(3) is the reasoning good, that whatever the Israelites might have been able to do in Egypt where abundant materials lay to hand, they were little likely to excel in handicrafts of any sort in a wilderness where such materials were wanting.

Even Knobel could reply to this, that as the Israelites when they escaped from Egypt were not a horde of savages, so neither were they a tribe of beggars; that they had not entered on their expedition in the wilderness without preparation, or without taking with them their most valuable articles; that the quantities of gold, silver and precious stones employed in the building of the tabernacle were but trifles in comparison with other quantities of the same that have been found in possession of ancient oriental peoples; that a large portion of what was contributed had probably been obtained by despoiling the Egyptians before escaping from their toils and plundering the Amalekites whom they soon after defeated at Rephidim, and who, in all likelihood, at least if one may judge from the subsequent example of the Midianites, had come to the field of war bedecked with jewels and gold; and that the acacia wood, the linen, the blue, the purple and the scarlet, with the goats’ skins, rams’ skins, and seal skins might all have been found and prepared in the wilderness (compare Kurtz, Geschichte des alten Bundes, II, section 53). In short, so decisively has this argument, derived from the supposed deficiency of culture and resources on the part of the Israelites, been disposed of by writers of by no means too conservative pro-clivities, that one feels surprised to find it called up again by Benzinger in Encyclopedia Biblica to do duty in support of the unhistorical character of the tabernacle narrative in Exodus.

4. Biblical Account Contains Marks of Its Unhistorical Character

The Biblical account of the Mosaic tabernacle, it is further contended, bears internal marks of its completely unhistorical character, as e.g.

(1) that it represents the tabernacle as having been constructed on a model which had been supernaturally shown to Moses;

(2) that it habitually speaks of the south, north, and west sides of the tabernacle although no preceding order had been issued that the tent should be so placed;

(3) that the brazen altar is described as made of timber overlaid with brass, upon which a huge fire constantly burned;

(4) that, the tabernacle is depicted, not as a mere provisional shelter for the ark upon the march, but "as the only legitimate sanctuary for the church of the twelve tribes before Solomon"; and

(5) that the description of the tabernacle furnished in P (Ex 25-31; 36-40; Nu 2:2,17; 5:1-4; 14:44) conflicts with that given in E (Ex 33:7-11), both as to its character and its location.


(1) why should the story of the tabernacle be a fiction, because Moses is reported to have made it according to a pattern showed to him in the Mount (Ex 25:40 (Hebrew 8:5))? No person says that the Temple of Solomon was a fiction, because David claimed that the pattern of it given to Solomon had been communicated to him (David) by divine inspiration (1Ch 28:19). Every critic also knows that Ezekiel wrote the book that goes by his name. Yet Ezekiel asserts that the temple described by him was beheld by him in a vision. Unless therefore the supernatural is ruled out of history altogether, it is open to reply that God could just as easily have revealed to Moses the pattern of the tabernacle as He afterward exhibited to Ezekiel the model of his temple. And even if God showed nothing to either one prophet or the other, the fact that Moses says he saw the pattern of the tabernacle no more proves that he did not write the account of it, than Ezekiel’s stating that he beheld the model of his temple attests that Ezekiel never penned the description of it. The same argument that proves Moses did not write about the tabernacle also proves that Ezekiel could not have written about the vision-temple. Should it be urged that as Ezekiel’s temple was purely visionary so also was Moses’ tabernacle, the argument comes with small consistency and less force from those who say that Ezekiel’s vision-temple was the model of a real temple that should afterward be built; since if Ezekiel’s vision-temple was (or should have been, according to the critics) converted into a material sanctuary, no valid reason can be adduced why Moses’ vision-tabernacle should not also have been translated into an actual building.

(2) How the fact that the tabernacle had three sides, south, north and west, shows it could not have been fashioned by Moses, is one of those mysteries which takes a critical mind to understand. One naturally presumes that the tabernacle must have been located somewhere and oriented somehow; and, if it had four sides, would assuredly suit as well to set them toward the four quarters of heaven as in any other way. But in so depicting the tabernacle, say the critics, the fiction writers who invented the story were actuated by a deep-laid design to make the Mosaic tabernacle look like the Temple of Solomon. Quite a harmless design, if it was really entertained! But the Books of Kings and Chronicles will be searched in vain for any indication that the Temple foundations were set to the four quarters of heaven. It is true that the 12 oxen who supported the molten sea in Solomon’s Temple were so placed—4 looking to the North, 4 to the South, 4 to the East, and 4 to the West (1Ki 7:25); but this does not necessarily warrant the inference that the sides of the Temple were so placed. Hence, on the well-known principle of modern criticism, that when a thing is not mentioned by a writer the thing does not exist, seeing that nothing is recorded about how the temple was placed, ought it not to be concluded that the whole story about the Temple is a myth?

(3) As to the absurdity of representing a large fire as constantly burning upon a wooden altar overlaid with a thin plate of brass, this would certainly have been all that the critics say—a fatal objection to receiving the story of the tabernacle as true. But if the story was invented, surely the inventor might have given Moses and his two skilled artisans, Bezalel and Oholiab, some credit for common sense, and not have made them do, or propose to do, anything so stupid as to try to keep a large fire burning upon an altar of wood. This certainly they did not do. An examination of Ex 27:1-8; 38:1-7 makes it clear that the altar proper upon which "the strong fire" burned was the earth or stone-filled (Ex 20:24 f) hollow which the wooden and brass frame enclosed.

(4) The fourth note of fancy—what Wellhausen calls "the chief matter"—that the tabernacle was designed for a central sanctuary to the church of the Twelve Tribes before the days of Solomon, but never really served in this capacity—is partly true and partly untrue. That it was meant to be a central sanctuary, until Yahweh should select for Himself a place of permanent habitation, which He did in the days of Solomon, is exactly the impression a candid reader derives from Exodus, and it is gratifying to learn from so competent a critic as Wellhausen that this impression is correct. But that it really never served as a central sanctuary, it is impossible to admit, after having traced its existence from the days of Joshua onward to those of Solomon. That occasionally altars were erected and sacrifices offered at other places than the tabernacle—as by Gideon at Ophrah (Jud 6:24-27) and by Samuel at Ramah (1Sa 7:17)—is no proof that the tabernacle was not the central sanctuary. If it is, then by parity of reasoning the altar in Mt. Ebal (De 27:5) should prove that Jerusalem was not intended as a central sanctuary. But, if alongside of the Temple in Jerusalem, an altar in Ebal could be commanded, then also alongside of the tabernacle it might be legitimate to erect an altar and offer sacrifice for special needs. And exactly this is what was done. While the tabernacle was appointed for a central sanctuary the earlier legislation was not revoked: "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt-offerings, and thy peace-offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in every place where I record my name I will come unto thee and I will bless thee" (Ex 20:24). It was still legitimate to offer sacrifice in any spot where Yahweh was pleased to manifest Himself to His people. And even though it had not been, the existence of local shrines alongside of the tabernacle would no more warrant the conclusion that the tabernacle was never built than the failure of the Christian church to keep the Golden Rule would certify that the Sermon on the Mount was never preached.

(5) With regard to the supposed want of harmony between the two descriptions of the tabernacle in P and E, much depends on whether the structures referred to in these documents were the same or different.

(a) If different, i.e. if the tent in E (Ex 33:7-11) was Moses’ tent (Kurtz, Keil, Kalisch, Ewald and others), or a preliminary tent erected by Moses (Havernick, Lange; Kennedy, and section A (I, 1), above), or possessed by the people from their forefathers (von Gerlach, Benzinger in EB), no reason can be found why the two descriptions should not have varied as to both the character of the tent and its location. The tent in E, which according to the supposition was purely provisional, a temporary sanctuary, may well have been a simple structure and pitched outside the camp; while the tent in P could just as easily have been an elaborate fabric with an ark, a priesthood and a complex sacrificial ritual and located in the midst of the camp. In this case no ground can arise for suggesting that they were contradictory of one another, or that P’s tent was a fiction, a paper-tabernacle, while E’s tent was a reality and the only tabernacle that ever existed in Israel. But

(b) if on the other hand the tent in E was the same as the tent in P (Calvin, Mead in Lange, Konig, Eerdmans, Valeton and others), then the question may arise whether or not any contradiction existed between them, and, if such contradiction did exist, whether this justifies the inference that P’s tent was unhistorical, i.e. never took shape except in the writer’s imagination.

That the tent in E was not P’s Mosaic tabernacle has been argued on the following grounds:

(a) that the Mosaic tabernacle (assuming it to have been a reality and not a fiction) was not yet made; so that E’s tent must have been either the tent of Moses or a provisional tent;

(b) that nothing is said about a body of priests and Levites with an ark and a sacrificial ritual in connection with E’s tent, but only of a non-Levitical attendant Joshua, and

(c) that it was situated outside the camp, whereas P’s tabernacle is always represented as in the midst of the camp.

The first of these grounds largely disappears when Ex 33:7 is read as in the Revised Version: "Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it without the camp." The verbs, being in the imperfect, point to Moses’ practice (Driver, Introduction and Hebrew Tenses; compare Ewald, Syntax, 348), which again may refer either to the past or to the future, either to what Moses was in the habit of doing with his own or the preliminary tent, or what he was to do with the tent about to be constructed. Which interpretation is the right one must be determined by the prior question which tent is intended. Against the idea of E’s tent being Moses’ private domicile stands the difficulty of seeing why it was not called his tent instead of the tent, and why Moses should be represented as never going into it except to hold communion with Yahweh. If it was a provisional tent, struck up by Moses, why was no mention of its construction made? And if it was a sort of national heirloom come down from the forefathers of Israel, why does the narrative contain not the slightest intimation of any such thing?

On the other hand if E’s tent was the same as P’s, the narrative does not require to be broken up; and Ex 33:7-11 quite naturally falls into its place as an explanation of how the promises of 33:3 and 5 were carried out (see infra).

The second supposed proof that E’s tent was not P’s but an earlier one, namely, that P’s had a body of priests and Levites, an ark and a complex ritual, while E’s had only Joshua as attendant and made no mention of ark, priests or sacrifices, loses force, unless it can be shown that there was absolute necessity that in this paragraph a full description of the tabernacle should be given. But obviously no such necessity existed, the object of the writer having been as above explained. Driver, after Wellhausen (GJ, 387), conjectures that in E’s original document Ex 33:7-11 may have been preceded "by an account of the construction of the Tent of Meeting and of the ark," and that "when the narrative was combined with that of P this part of it (being superfluous by the side of Exodus 25-35) was probably omitted." As this however is only a conjecture, it is of no more (probably of less) value than the opinion that Exodus 25-35 including 33:7-11 proceeded from the same pen. The important contribution to the interpretation of the passage is that the absence from the paragraph relating to E’s tent of the ark, priests and sacrifices is no valid proof that E’s tent was not the Mosaic tabernacle.

The third argument against their identity is their different location—E’s outside and P’s inside the camp. But it may be argued (a) that the translation in the Revised Version (British and American) distinctly relieves this difficulty. For if Moses used to take and pitch the tabernacle outside the camp, the natural implication is that the tabernacle was often, perhaps usually, inside the camp, as in the Priestly Code (P), and only from time to time pitched outside the camp, when Yahweh was displeased with the people (Eerdmans, Valeton). Or (2) that "outside the camp" may signify away, at an equal distance from all the four camps ("over against the tent of meeting"—in the King James Version "far off," after Jos 3:4—were the various tribes with their standards, i.e. the four camps, to be pitched; Nu 2:2); so that the tabernacle might easily be in the midst of all the camps and yet "outside" and "far off" from each camp separately, thus requiring every individual who sought the Lord to go out from his camp unto the tabernacle. Nu 11:26-30 may perhaps shed light upon the question. There it is stated that "there remained two men in the camp (who) had not gone out with Moses unto the Tent," and that Moses and the elders after leaving the tent, "gat (them) into the camp." Either the tent at this time was in the center of the square, around which the four camps were stationed, or it was outside. If it was outside, then the first of the foregoing explanations will hold good; if it was inside the camp, then the second suggestion must be adopted, namely, that while the camps were round about the tabernacle, the tabernacle was outside each camp. "Although the tabernacle stood in the midst of the camp, yet it was practically separated from the tents of the tribes by an open space and by the encampment of the Levites" (Pulpit Commentary, in the place cited.; compare Keil, in the place cited.). When one calls to mind that the tabernacle was separated from each side of the square probably, as in Jos 3:4, by 2,000 cubits (at 19-25 inches each = about 3/4 of a mile), one has small difficulty in understanding how the tabernacle could be both outside the several camps and inside them all; how the two promises in Ex 33 (the King James Version)—"I will not go up in the midst of thee" (33:3) and "I will come up into the midst of thee" (33:5)—might be fulfilled; how Moses and the elders could go out from the camp (i.e. their several camps) to the tabernacle and after leaving the tabernacle return to the camp (i.e. their several camps); and how no insuperable difficulty in the shape of an insoluble contradiction exists between E’s account and P’s account.

5. Pre-exilic Prophets Knew Nothing of Levitical System of Which the Tabernacle Was Said to Be the Center.

That the pre-exilic prophets knew nothing about the Levitical system of which the tabernacle was the center is regarded as perhaps the strongest proof that the tabernacle had no existence in the wilderness and indeed never existed at all except on paper. The assertion about the ignorance of the pre-exilic prophets as to the sacrificial system of the Priestly Code has been so often made that it has come to be a "commonplace" and "stock-phrase" of modern criticism. In particular, Amos in the 8th century BC (5:25,26) and Jeremiah in the 7th century BC (7:21-23) are quoted as having publicly taught that no such sacrificial ritual as the tabernacle implied had been promulgated in the wilderness. But, if these prophets were aware that the Levitical Law had not been given by Moses, one would like to know,

(1) how this interpretation of their language had been so long in being discovered;

(2) how the critics themselves are not unanimous in accepting this interpretation—which they are not;

(3) how Amos could represent Yahweh as saying "I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Yea, though ye offer me your burnt-offerings and meal-offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts" (5:21,22), if Yahweh had never accepted and never enjoined them;

(4) how Jeremiah could have been a party to putting forward Deuteronomy as a work of Moses if he knew that Yahweh had never commanded sacrifices to be offered, which Deuteronomy does; and

(5) how Jeremiah could have blamed Judah for committing spiritual adultery if Yahweh had never ordered the people to offer sacrifice.

In reply to

(1) it will scarcely do to answer that all previous interpreters of Amos and Jeremiah had failed to read the prophets’ words as they stand (Am 5:25,26; Jer 7:22), because the question would then arise why the middle books of the Pentateuch should not also be read as they stand, as e.g. when they say, "The Lord spake unto Moses," and again "These (the legislative contents of the middle books) are the commandments, which Yahweh commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai" (Le 27:34). As for

(2) it is conveniently forgotten that Bohlen (Introduction to Genesis, I, 277) admitted that some of the Pentateuch "might possibly have originated in the time of Moses," and when quoting Jer 7:22 never dreamed of putting forward an explanation different from the orthodox rendering of the same, and certainly did not cite it as a proof that the Law had no existence prior to the exile; that De Wette in his Einleitung (261, 262, 8th edition) stated that "the holy laws and institutions of theocratic people had for their author Moses, who in giving them stood under divine guidance"; that Knobel (Die Bucher Ex und Lev, xxii) explicitly declared that Moses must be regarded not only as the liberator and founder of his people, but also the originator of the peculiar Israelite constitution and lawgiving, at least in its fundamental elements; that Ewald (Die Propheten, II, 123) regarded Jer 7:22 as making no announcement about the origin of the sacrificial cult; and that Bleek (Introduction to the Old Testament) forgot to read the modern critical interpretation into the words of Amos and Jeremiah for the simple reason that to have done so would have stultified his well-known view that many of the laws of the middle books of the Pentateuch are of Mosaic origin. Nor is the difficulty

(3) removed by holding that, if prior to the days of Amos Yahweh did accept the burnt offerings and meal offerings of Israel, these were not sacrifices that had been appointed in the wilderness, because Yahweh Himself appears to intimate (Am 5:25,26) that no such sacrifices or offerings had been made during the whole 40 years’ wandering. Had this been the case, it is not easy to see why the post-exilic authors of the Priestly Code should have asserted the contrary, should have represented sacrifices as having been offered in the wilderness, as they have done (see Nu 16; 18). The obvious import of Yahweh’s language is either that the sacrificial worship which He had commanded had been largely neglected by the people, or that it had been so heartless and formal that it was no true worship at all—their real worship being given to their idols—and that as certainly as the idolaters in the wilderness were excluded from Canaan, so the idolaters in Amos’ day, unless they repented, would be carried away into exile. As to

(4) Jeremiah’s action in putting forward or helping to put forward Deuteronomy as a work of Moses when he knew that it represented Yahweh as having commanded sacrifices to be offered both in the wilderness and in Canaan (De 12:6,11,13), and must have been aware as well that J-E had represented Yahweh as commanding sacrifice at Sinai (Ex 20:24,25), no explanation can be offered that will clear the prophet from the charge of duplicity and insincerity, or prevent his classification with the very men who were a grief of mind to him and against whom a large part of his life was spent in contending, namely, the prophets that prophesied lies in the name of God. Nor does it mend matters to suggest (Cheyne) that when Jeremiah perceived that Deuteronomy, though floated into publicity under high patronage, did not take hold, he changed his mind, because in the first place if Jeremiah did so, he should, like an honest man, have washed his hands clear of Deuteronomy, which he did not; and in the second place, because had he done so he could not have been "the iron pillar and brazen wall" which Yahweh had intended him to be and indeed had promised to make him against the princes, priests and people of the land (1:18). And, still further,

(5) it passes comprehension how, if Yahweh never commanded His people to offer sacrifice to Him, Jeremiah could have represented Yahweh as enjoining him to pronounce a curse upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem because they transgressed the words of Yahweh’s covenant, which He had made with their fathers in the day when He brought them out of the land of Egypt, by running after other gods to serve them, setting up altars and burning incense unto Baal and even working lewdness in Yahweh’s house (Jer 11:1-15). It is urged in answer to this, that the offense complained of was not that the men of Judah did not offer sacrifices to Yahweh, but that they offered them to Baal and polluted His temple with heathen rites—that what Yahweh demanded from His worshippers was not the offering of sacrifice, but obedience to the moral law conjoined with abstinence from idolatry. But in that case, what was the use of a temple at all? And why should Yahweh speak of it as "mine house," if sacrifices were not required to be offered in it (compare on this Kittel, The Scientific Study of the Old Testament, 218)? Why idolatrous sacrifices were denounced was not merely because they were wrong in themselves, but also because they had supplanted the true sacrificial worship of Yahweh. As already stated, it is not easy to perceive how Jeremiah could have said that Yahweh had never commanded sacrifices to be offered to Him, when he (Jeremiah) must have known that the Book of the Covenant in J-E (Ex 20:24,25) represented Yahweh as expressly enjoining them. Had Jeremiah not read the Book of the Covenant with sufficient care? This is hardly likely in so earnest a prophet. Or will it be lawful to suggest that Jeremiah knew the Book of the Covenant to be a fiction and the assumption of divine authority for its enactments to be merely a rhetorical device? In this case his words might be true; only one cannot help regretting that he did not distinctly state that in his judgment the Book of the Covenant was a fraud.

It may now be added in confirmation of the preceding, that the various references to a tabernacle in the New Testament appear at least to imply that in the 1st Christian century the historicity of the Mosaic tabernacle was generally accepted. These references are Peter’s exclamation on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mt 17:4; Mr 9:5; Lu 9:33); Stephen’s statement in the council (Ac 7:44); the affirmations in Hebrews (chapters 8; 9); and the voice which John heard out of heaven (Re 21:3). It may be admitted that taken separately or unitedly these utterances do not amount to a conclusive demonstration that the tabernacle actually existed in the wilderness; but read in the light of Old Testament aeclarations that such a tabernacle did exist, they have the force of a confirmation. If the language of Peter and that of John may fairly enough be regarded as figurative, even then their symbolism suggests, as its basis, what Stephen and the writer to the He affirm to have been a fact, namely, that their "fathers had the tabernacle .... in the wilderness," and that, under the first covenant, "there was a tabernacle prepared."


I, critical: De Wette, Beitrage; von Bohlen, Genesis; Georg, Judische Feste; Reuss, Geschichte der heiligen Schriften des AT; Graf, de Templo Silonensi; Kuenen, The Religion of Israel; Wellhausen, Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels; HDB and EB, articles "Tabernacle," II, conservative: Bredenkamp, Gesetz und Propheten; Kurtz, Geschichte des alten Bundes; Havernick, Einleitung; Hengstenberg, Egypt and the Books of Moses; Riehm, Handworterbuch, and Herzog, RE (ed 1; edition 3 is "critical"), articles "Stiftshutte"; Baxter, Sanctuary and Sacrifice; Bissell, The Pentateuch: Its Origin and Structure; Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament; Whitelaw, Old Testament Critics.

T. Whitelaw




tab’-i-tha (Tabeitha). See DORCAS.


"Table" is derived from the Latin tabula, meaning primarily "a board," but with a great variety of other significances, of which "writing-tablet" is the most important for the Biblical use of "table." So in English "table" meant at first "any surface" and, in particular, "a surface for writing," and further specialization was needed before "table" became the name of the familiar article of furniture ("object with a horizontal surface"), a meaning not possessed by tabula in Latin. After this specialization "table" in the sense of "a surface for writing" was replaced in later English by the diminutive form "tablet." But "surface for writing" was still a common meaning of "table," and in this sense it represents luach (Ex 24:12, etc.), a word of uncertain origin, plax, "something flat" (2Co 3:3; Heb 9:4), deltos, "a writing tablet" (1 Macc 8:22; 14:18,27,48), or pinakidion "writing tablet" (Lu 1:63—a rather unusual word). the American Standard Revised Version has kept the word in the familiar combination "tables of stone" (Ex 24:12, etc.), but elsewhere (Pr 3:3; 7:3; Isa 30:8; Jer 17:1; Hab 2:2; Lu 1:63) has replaced "table" by "tablet," a change made by the English Revised Version only in Isa 30:8; Lu 1:63.


The table as an article of furniture is shulchan, in the Hebrew and trapezal, in the Greek. The only exceptions are So 1:12, mecabh, "something round," perhaps a "round table," perhaps a "cushion," perhaps a "festal procession," and Mr 7:4, the King James Version kline, "couch" (so the Revised Version (British and American)), while Joh 13:28 and Joh 12:2, the King James Version "at the table," and Tobit 7:8, the King James Version "on the table," represent only the general sense of the original. Of the two regular words, shulchan is properly "a piece of hide," and so "a leather mat," placed on the ground at meal time, but the word came to mean any "table," however elaborate (e.g. Ex 25:23-30). Trapeza means "having four feet."

2Ki 4:10 seems to indicate that a table was a necessary article in even the simpler rooms. Curiously enough, however, apart from the table of shewbread there is no reference in the Bible to the form or construction of tables, but the simpler tables in Palestine of the present day are very much lower than ours. The modern "tables of the money changers" (Mr 11:15 and parallel’s) are small square trays on stands, and they doubtless had the same form in New Testament times.


To eat at a king’s table (2Sa 9:7, etc.) is naturally to enjoy a position of great honor, and the privilege is made by Christ typical of the highest reward (Lu 22:30). Usually "to eat at one’s table" is meant quite literally, but in 1Ki 18:19; Ne 5:17 (compare 1Ki 10:5) it probably means "be fed at one’s expense." On the other hand, the misery of eating the leavings of a table (Jud 1:7; Mr 7:28; Lu 16:21) needs no comment. The phrase "table of the Lord (Yahweh)" in Mal 1:7,12 the King James Version (compare Eze 41:22; 44:16; Eze 39:20 is quite different) means "the table (altar) set before the Lord," but the same phrase in 1Co 10:21 is used in a different sense and the origin of its use by Paul is obscure. Doubtless the language, if not the meaning, of Malachi had its influence and may very well have been suggested to Paul as he wrote 1Co 10:18. On the other hand, light may be thrown on the passage by such a papyrus fragment as "Chareimon invites you to dine at the table (kline) of the lord Serapis," a formal invitation to an idol-banquet (1Co 8:10; Pap. Oxyr. i.110; compare iii.523). This would explain Paul’s "table of demons"—a phrase familiar to the Corinthians—and he wrote "table of the Lord" to correspond (compare, however, Pirqe ‘Abhoth, iii.4). "Table at which the Lord is Host," at any rate, is the meaning of the phrase. On the whole passage see the comms., especially that of Lietzmann (fullest references). Probably Lu 22:30 has no bearing on 1Co 10:21. The meaning of Ps 69:22 (quoted in Ro 11:9), "Let their table before them become a snare," is very obscure ("let them be attacked while deadened in revelings"?), and perhaps was left intentionally vague.

Burton Scott Easton


1. The Table and Its Object

2. What It Includes and Excludes

3. Order of the Three Races

4. Extent of Each

5. Sons of Japheth

6. Sons and Descendants of Ham

7. Further Descendants of Ham

8. Sons of Shem

9. Further Descendants of Shem

10. Value of Table and Its Historical Notes

11. Further Arguments for Early Date of Table

1. The Table and Its Object:

This is the expression frequently used to indicate "the generations of the sons of Noah" contained in Ge 10. These occupy the whole chapter, and are supplemented by Ge 11:1-9, which explain how it came about that there were so many languages in the world as known to the Hebrews. The remainder of Genesis 11 traces the descent of Abram, and repeats a portion of the information contained in Genesis 10 on that account only. The whole is seemingly intended to lead up to the patriarch’s birth.

2. What It Includes and Excludes:

Noah and his family being the only persons left alive after the Flood, the Table naturally begins with them, and it is from his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, that the inhabitants of the earth, as known to the Hebrews, were descended. All others—the Mongolians of the Far East and Japan, the American Indians, both North and South, the natives of Australia and New Zealand—were naturally omitted from the list. It may, of course, be argued that all the nations not regarded as descended from Shem and Japheth might be included among the descendants of Ham; but apart from the fact that this would give to Ham far more than his due share of the human race, it would class the Egyptians and Canaanites with the Mongolians, Indians, etc., which seems improbable. "The Table of Nations," in fact, excludes the races of which the Semitic East was in ignorance, and which could not, therefore, be given according to their lands, languages, families, and nations (Ge 10:5,20,31).

3. Order of the Three Races:

Notwithstanding that the sons of Noah are here (Ge 10:1) and elsewhere mentioned in the order Shem, Ham and Japheth (Ge 5:32; 6:10), and Ham was apparently the youngest (see HAM), the Table begins (Ge 10:2) with Japheth, enumerates then the descendants of Ham (Ge 10:6), and finishes with those of Shem (Ge 10:21). This order in all probability indicates the importance of each race in the eyes of the Hebrews, who as Semites were naturally interested most in the descendants of Shem with whom the list ends. This enabled the compiler to continue the enumeration of Shem’s descendants in Ge 11:12 immediately after the verses dealing with the building of the Tower of Babel and the Confusion of Tongues.

4. Extent of Each:

The numbers of the descendants of each son of Noah, however, probably bear witness to the compiler’s knowledge, rather than their individual importance in his eyes. Thus, the more remote and less known race of Japheth is credited with 14 descendants only (7 sons and 7 grandsons), while Ham has no less than 29 descendants (4 sons, 23 grandsons, and 2 great-grandsons), and Shem the same (5 sons, 5 grandsons, 1 great-grandson, and 20 remoter descendants to the 6th generation). Many of the descendants of Shem and Ham, however, are just as obscure as the descendants of Japheth. How far the relationship to the individual sons of Noah is to be taken literally is uncertain. The earlier names are undoubtedly those of nations, while afterward we have, possibly, merely tribes, and in chapter 11 the list develops into a genealogical list of individuals.

5. Sons of Japheth:

It is difficult to trace a clear system in the enumeration of the names in the Table. In the immediate descendants of Japheth (Ge 10:2), Gomer, Magog, Tubal and Mesech, we have the principal nations of Asia Minor, but Madai stands for the Medes on the extreme East, and Javan (the Ionians) for the Greeks (? and Romans) on the extreme West (unless the Greeks of Asia Minor were meant). Gomer’s descendants apparently located themselves northward of this tract, while the sons of Javan extended themselves along the Mediterranean coastlands westward, Tarshish standing, apparently, for Spain, Kittim being the Cyprians, and Rodanim the Rhodians.

6. Sons and Descendants of Ham:

Coming to the immediate descendants of Ham (Ge 10:6), the writer begins with those on the South and then goes northward in the following order: Cush or Ethiopia, Mizraim or Egypt, Phut (better Put, the Revised Version (British and American)) by the Red Sea, and lastly Canaan—the Holy Land—afterward occupied by the Israelites. The sons of Cush, which follow (Ge 10:7), are apparently nationalities of the Arabian coast, where Egyptian influence was predominant. These, with the sons of Raamah, embrace the interior of Africa as known to the Hebrews, and the Arabian tract as far as Canaan, its extreme northern boundary. The reference to Babylonia (Nimrod) may be regarded as following not unnaturally here, and prominence is given to the district on account of its importance and romantic history from exceedingly early times. Nevertheless, this portion (Ge 10:8-12) reads like an interpolation, as it not only records the foundation of the cities of Babylonia, but those of Assyria as well—the country mentioned lower down (Ge 10:22) among the children of Shem.

7. Further Descendants of Ham:

The text then goes back to the West again, and enumerates the sons of Mizraim or Egypt (Ge 10:13), mostly located on the southeastern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean. These include the "Libyans in the narrowest sense" (Lehabim), two districts regarded as Egyptian (Naphtuhim and Pathrusim), the Casluhim from whom came the Philistines, and the Caphtorim, probably not the Cappadocians of the Targums, but the island of Crete, "because such a large island ought not to be wanting" (Dillmann). The more important settlements in the Canaanitish sphere of influence are referred to as the sons of Canaan (Ge 10:15)—Sidon, Heth (the Hittites), the Jebusites (who were in occupation of Jerusalem when the Israelites took it), the Amorites (whom Abraham found in Canaan), and others. Among the sons of Canaan are, likewise, the Girgashites, the Arkites and Sinites near Lebanon, the Arvadites of the coast, and the Hamathites, in whose capital, Hamath, many hieroglyphic inscriptions regarded as records of the Hittites or people of Heth have been found. It is possibly to this occupation of more or less outlying positions that the "spreading abroad" of the families of the Canaanites (Ge 10:18) refers. In Ge 10:19 the writer has been careful to indicate "the border of the Canaanites," that being of importance in view of the historical narrative which was to follow; and here he was evidently on familiar ground. 8. Sons of Shem:

In his final section—the nations descended from Shem (Ge 10:21)—the compiler again begins with the farthest situated—the Elamites—after which we have Asshur (Assyria), to the Northwest; Arpachshad (? the Chaldeans), to the West; Lud (Lydia), Northwest of Assyria; and Aram (the Aramean states), South of Lud and West of Assyria. The tribes or states mentioned as the sons of Aram (Uz, Hul, Gether and Mash), however, do not give the names with which we are familiar in the Old Testament (Aram Naharaim, Aram Zobah, etc.), and have evidently to be sought in different positions, indicating that they represent an earlier stage of their migrations. With regard to their positions, it has been suggested that Uz lay in the neighborhood of the Hauran and Damascus; Hul near the Sea of Galilee; and that Mash stands for Mons Masius. This last, however, may have been the land of Mas, West of Babylonia.

9. Further Descendants of Shem:

Only one son is attributed to Arpachshad, namely, Shelah (shalach, shelach, Ge 10:24), unidentified as a nationality. This name should, however, indicate some part of Babylonia, especially if his son, Eber, was the ancestor of the Hebrews, who were apparently migrants from Ur (Mugheir) (see ABRAHAM; UR OF THE CHALDEES). Though Peleg, "in whose days the land was divided," may not have been an important link in the chain, the explanatory phrase needs notice. It may refer to the period when the fertilizing watercourses of Babylonia—the "rivers of Babylon" (Ps 137:1)—were first constructed (one of their names was pelegh), or to the time when Babylonia was divided into a number of small states, though this latter seems to be less likely. Alternative renderings for Selah, Eber and Peleg are "sending forth" (Bohlen), "crossing" (the Euphrates), and "separation" (of the Joktanites) (Bohlen), respectively.

The Babylonian geographical fragment 80-6-17, 504 has a group explained as Pulukku, perhaps a modified form of Peleg, followed by (Pulukku) sa ebirti, "Pulukku of the crossing", the last word being from the same root as Eber. This probably indicates a city on one side of the river (? Euphrates), at a fordable point, and a later foundation bearing the same name on the other side.

Reu, Serug, and Nahor, however, are regarded generally as place-names, and Terah as a personal name (the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran). From this point onward the text (Ge 11:27) becomes the history of the Israelite nation, beginning with these patriarchs.

10. Value of Table and Its Historical Notes:

Arguments for its early date.—There is hardly any doubt that we have in this ethnographical section of Ge one of the most valuable records of its kind. Concerning the criticisms upon it which have been made, such things are unavoidable, and must be regarded as quite legitimate, in view of the importance of the subject. The interpolated sections concerning Nimrod and the Tower of Babel are such as would be expected in a record in which the compiler aimed at giving all the information which he could, and which he thought desirable for the complete understanding of his record. It may be regarded as possible that this information was given in view of the connection of Abraham with Babylonia. In his time there were probably larger cities than Babylon, and this would suggest that the building of the Babylonian capital may have been arrested. At the time of the captivity on the other hand, Babylon was the largest capital in then known world, and the reference to its early abandonment would then have conveyed no lesson—seeing the extent of the city, the reader realized that it was only a short setback from which it had suffered, and its effects had long since ceased to be felt.

11. Further Arguments for Early Date of Table:

Limits of its information.—For the early date of the Table also speaks the limited geographical knowledge displayed. Sargon of Agade warred both on the East and the West of Babylonia, but he seems to have made no expeditions to the North, and certainly did not touch either Egypt or Ethiopia. This suggests not only that the information available was later than his time, but also that it was obtained from merchants, travelers, envoys and ambassadors. The scantiness of the information about the North of Europe and Asia, and the absence of any reference to the Middle or the Far East, imply that communications were easiest on the West, the limit of trade in that direction being apparently Spain. If it could be proved that the Phoenicians came as far westward as Britain for their tin, that might fix the latest date of the compilation of the Table, as it must have been written before it became known that their ships went so far; but in that case, the date of their earliest journeys thither would need to be fixed. Noteworthy is the absence of any reference to the Iranians (Aryan Persians) on the East. These, however, may have been included with the Medes (Madai), or one of the unidentified names of the descendants of Japheth in Ge 10:2,3.

See SHEM; HAM; JAPHETH, and the other special articles in this Encyclopedia; also, for a great mass of information and theories by many scholars and specialists, Dillmann, Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum Altes Testament, "Die Genesis," Leipzig, 1882; W. Max Muller, Asien und Europa, Leipzig, 1893; and F. Hommel, Grundriss der Geographic und Geschichte des alten Orients, Munich, 1904.

T. G. Pinches


tab’-let: A rigid flat sheet (plate, pad or slab) used to receive writing. Stone, clay, wood and perhaps bronze, gold and lead tablets, at least, are mentioned in the Bible. In the Old English sense of "locket" the word is incorrectly used in the King James Version also of what the Revised Version (British and American) translates as "armlets," margin "necklaces" (Ex 35:22; Nu 31:50) and "perfume boxes" (Isa 3:20).

The technical Hebrew word for tablet, luach, is generally translated in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) as "table." This is used for stone, wood or metal plates or tablets with or without writing. In Isaiah (30:8) where the Revised Version (British and American) translates "tablet," it is contrasted with the "roll" and probably means the wood or waxed tablet. In Habakkuk (2:2, the American Standard Revised Version "tablet," the King James Version and the English Revised Version "table") it perhaps refers to a metal tablet to be erected on a wall, but more likely it refers to the wooden tablet. It is also used in Proverbs (3:3; 7:3, the American Standard Revised Version "tablet," the King James Version and the English Revised Version "table") and in Jeremiah (17:1) figuratively of the writing upon the tablets of the heart, the word being rendered in the Septuagint by the same word (plax) used by Paul (2Co 3:3, "tables" in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)) in the same figure. In other cases (Ex 24:12, etc.) it is used of the tablets of stone containing the Decalogue.

The word gillayon (Isa 8:1), which is translated in the Revised Version (British and American) "tablet" and in the King James Version "roll," is elsewhere (Isa 3:23) translated "mirror," and is thought to mean a blank polished surface for writing, particularly because in later use it means the blank margin of a roll.


The clay tablet is referred to in Ezekiel (4:1, English Versions of the Bible "tile"), and its use there for a map of the city has been strikingly illustrated in modern excavation by a tablet map discovered at Nippur (Hilprecht, Explorations, 518). Jeremiah (32:14, the Revised Version (British and American) "deeds," the King James Version "evidences") may also refer to clay tablets, but not surely, since roll deeds were also kept in earthen jars. Job (19:24) is thought by some to refer to the writing on leaden tablets, such as were in very common use in antiquity and in the Middle Ages for the writing of charms and especially curses, but more hold that inscriptions filled with lead are meant here. The plate of pure gold (Ex 28:36; Le 8:9), engraved like the gravings of a signet, which was on Aaron’s miter, may also be properly described as a tablet, recalling the silver treaty between the Hittites and Egyptians and the gold plate on which Queen Helena of Adiabene (Yoma’ 37a; Jewish Encyclopedia, VI, 334) had engraved a passage from the Pentateuch (Nu 5:19-22). Bronze tablets (deltos) are several times referred to in 1 Maccabees (8:22; 14:18,27,48).

"Daleth" (daleth or deleth), the Semitic (Phoenician) original from which the generic Greek word for tablet (deltos) is derived (Gardthausen, p. 124, note 1), is perhaps not found strictly in this meaning in the Old Testament. The word is used, however, of two kinds of written documents and in such a way as to suggest that one is the original of, and the other derived from, the "daleth"-tablet. In De 6:9 and 11:20 it is enjoined that the laws of Yahweh shall be written upon the gates of the houses, and in each case the "daleths" (doors) are meant, since the door-posts are also mentioned, and in 1Sa 21:13, where David "scrabbles," it is expressly said to be upon the "doors" ("daleths") of the gate. This practice of writing upon house doors and city gates corresponds to the modern posting of notices on church doors and scoring of tallies on a door by the rural innkeeper; and the name seems to have passed from this great door tablet to the portable tablet. On the other hand Jeremiah (36:23) uses "daleths" (English Versions of the Bible "leaves") for the columns of a roll, obviously transferring the term from the panel form of the folding tablets.

pinakis, or pinakidion, is found in Eze 9:2,11 in the version of Symmachus in place of the "writer’s inkhorn," and pinakidion, in Lu 1:63, of the (wooden) tablet on which Zacharias wrote the name of John. Puxion is used several times by Septuagint as the translation for luach, and once (So 5:14) for ivory tablets. Sanis is used as the translation of "daleth" or luach 2 or 3 times in the Septuagint and still oftener in the other versions. The most common Greek term both in the New Testament (2Co 3:3; Heb 9:4) and in the Greek Old Testament is plax, most often used of the tables of stone. This, like platos, which is also used for luach in Septuagint, is not recognized in the modern textbooks (Thompson, Gardthausen, Birt).


Gardthausen, Griechische Palaeog., Leipzig, I (1911), 123-32; compare pp. 24-45.

See also literature under WRITING.

E. C. Richardson


ta’-ber, tar’-bor (tabhor; Codex Vaticanus Thachcheia; Codex Alexandrinus Thabor): One of the towns in the territory of Zebulun, given to the Merarite Levites (1Ch 6:77). The parallel list in Jos 21:24 f contains no name like this. There is no indication of its position. Some have thought that it may correspond to Daberath in the territory of Issachar (21:28), now represented by Deburiyeh on the western slope of Mt. Tabor; others that it may be the mountain itself; and yet others that it may be a city on the mountain, which probably was occupied from very early times. There is a Tabor mentioned as on the border of Issachar (Jos 19:22); but that is almost certainly the mountain. It has been suggested that Tabor in 1Ch 6:17 may be a contraction of Chisloth-tabor (Jos 19:12), the modern Iksal, 3 miles West of the mountain. No certainty is possible.

W. Ewing


(tabhor, har tabhor; oros Thabor, to Itaburion): This mountain seems to be named as on the border of Issachar (Jos 19:22). It is possibly identical with the mountain to which Zebulun and Issachar were to call the peoples (De 33:19). Standing on the boundary between the tribes, they would claim equal rights in the sanctuary on the top. The passage seems to indicate that it was a place of pilgrimage. The worshippers, bringing with them the "abundance of the sea" and the "treasures of the sand," would be a source of profit to the local authorities. The mountain can be no other than Jebel et-Tur, an isolated and shapely height, rising at the northeast corner of the Plain of Esdraelon, about 5 miles West of Nazareth. The mountain has retained its sacred character, and is still a place of pilgrimage, only the rites being changed. The present writer has mingled with great interest among the crowds that assemble there from all parts at the Feast of the Transfiguration.

It was on the summit and slopes of this mountain that Deborah and Barak gathered their forces; and hence, they swept down to battle with Sisera in the great plain (Jud 4:6,12,14). Here probably the brothers of Gideon were murdered by Zeba and Zalmunna (Jud 8:18). Moore ("Jgs," ICC, at the place) thinks the scene of the slaughter must have been much farther South. He does not see what the brothers of Gideon were doing so far North of their home in Abiezer. There is, however, no reason for placing Ophrah so far to the South as he does; and in any case the men were probably captured and taken to Tabor as prisoners. Josephus (Ant., VII, ii, 3) says it was in one of Solomon’s administrative districts (compare 1Ki 4:17). Such a prominent and commanding position must always have invited fortification. In the time of Antiochus the Great, 218 BC, we find a fortress here, which that king took by stratagem, Atabyrion by name (Polyb. v. 70, 6). It was recovered by the Jews, and was held by them under Janneus, 105-70 BC (Ant., XIII, xv, 4). The place fell to the Romans at the conquest under Pompey; and not far from the mountain Alexander, son of Aristobulus II, suffered defeat at the hands of Gabinius, proconsul of Syria, 53 BC (Ant., XIV, iv, 3; BJ, I, viii, 7). Josephus, who commanded in Galilee at the outbreak of the Jewish war, recognized the importance of the position, and built a wall round the summit. After the disaster to Jewish arms at Jotapata, where Josephus himself was taken prisoner, many fugitives took refuge here. Placidus the Roman general did not attempt an assault upon the fortress. Its defenders were by a feint drawn into the plain, where they were defeated, and the city surrendered.

A tradition which can be traced to the 4th century AD places the scene of the Transfiguration on this mountain. Allusion has been made above to the sacred character of the place. To this, and to the striking appearance of the mountain, the rise of the tradition may have been due. Passing centuries have seen a succession of churches and monasteries erected on the mountain. The scene of the Transfiguration was laid at the southeastern end of the summit, and here a church was built, probably by Tancred. Hard by was also shown the place where Melchizedek met Abraham returning from the pursuit of Chedorlaomer. The mountain shared to the full the vicissitudes of the country’s stormy history. In 1113 AD the Arabs from Damascus plundered the monasteries and murdered the monks. An unsuccessful attack was made by Saladin in 1183, but 4 years later, after the rout of the Crusaders at Hattin, he devastated the place. Twenty-five years after that it was fortified by el-Melek el-‘Adel, brother of Saladin, and the Crusaders failed in an attempt to take it in 1217. In 1218, however, the Saracens threw down the defenses. Sultan Bibars in 1263 ordered the destruction of the Church of the Transfiguration, and for a time the mountain was deserted. The Feast of the Transfiguration, however, continued to be celebrated by the monks from Nazareth. During the last quarter of the 19th century much building was done by the Latin and Greek churches, who have now large and substantial monasteries and churches. They have also excavated the ruins of many of the old ecclesiastical buildings. The remains now to be seen present features of every period, from Jewish times to our own.

Mt. Tabor rises to a height of 1,843 ft. above the sea, and forms the most striking feature of the landscape. Seen from the South it presents the shape of a hemisphere; from the West, that of a sugar loaf. Its rounded top and steep sides are covered with thick brushwood. It is about half a century since the oak forest disappeared; but solitary survivors here and there show what the trees must have been. A low neck connects the mountain with the uplands to the North. It is cut off from Jebel ed-Duchy on the South by a fertile vale, which breaks down into Wady el-Bireh, and thence to the Jordan. A zigzag path on the Northwest leads to the top, whence most interesting and comprehensive views are obtained. Southward, over Little Hermon, with Endor and Nain on its side, and Shunem at its western base, we catch a glimpse of Mt. Gilboa. Away across the plain the eye runs along the hills on the northern boundary of Samaria, past Taanach and Megiddo to Carmel by the sea, and the oak forest that runs northward from the gorge of the Kishon. A little to the North of West, 5 miles of broken upland, we can see the higher houses of Nazareth gleaming white in the sun. Eastward lies the hollow of the Jordan, and beyond it the wall of Gilead and the steep cliffs East of the Sea of Galilee, broken by glens and watercourses, and especially by the great chasm of the Yarmuk. The mountains of Zebulun and Naphtali seem to culminate in the shining mass of Great Hermon, rising far in the northern sky. Standing here one realizes how aptly the two mountains may be associated in the Psalmist’s thought, although Hermon be mighty and Tabor humble (Ps 89:12). Tabor is referred to by Jeremiah (46:18), and Hosea alludes to some ensnaring worship practiced on the mountain (5:1).

The present writer spent some weeks on Mt. Tabor, and as the result of careful observation and consideration concluded that the scene of the Transfiguration cannot be laid here. The place would appear to have been occupied at that time; and the remoteness and quiet which Jesus evidently sought could hardly have been found here.


W. Ewing


(PLAIN OF TABOR in the King James Version) (elon tabhor; he drus Thabor): A place mentioned only in Samuel’s directions to Saul after his anointing (1Sa 10:3). It lay between the city where the two met and Gibeah whither Saul was returning. Ewald and Thenius thought it might be identical with the palm tree of Deborah, but there is nothing to support this conjecture. Others have thought we might read "oak of Deborah," as signifying the place where Rachel’s nurse was buried (Ge 35:8). The truth is that nothing whatever is now known of the site.

W. Ewing


tab’-ret, tim’-brel.

See MUSIC, III, 3, (1).


tab-rim’-on, tab’-ri-mon (Tabhrimmon, "Rimmon is good"; Codex Vaticanus Taberema; Codex Alexandrinus Tabenraema): The son of Hezion and father of BENHADAD (which see) (1Ki 15:18, the King James Version, "Tabrimon").









See SHIPS AND BOATS, II, 2, (2).


tad’-mor, tad’-mor (tadhmor): A city built by Solomon in the wilderness (2Ch 8:4), the Roman Palmyra. Tadmor is the native name and is found on inscriptions. It occurs also in the Kere of 1Ki 9:18, where the Kethibh or consonants read "Tamar" (compare Eze 47:19; 48:28). It is famous in Arabian as well as in Hebrew literature, and enters Roman history in connection with Zenobia and Longinus. The inscriptions, which belong for the most part to the latter period (266-73 AD), have been published by Dawkins and Wood and also by M. Waddington and the Duc de Luynes. Popular works on the subject are An Account of Palmyra and Zenobia by W. Wright, and The Last Days and Fall of Palmyra by W. Ware.


Thomas Hunter Weir


ta’-han, ta’-han-its (tachan, tachani): The name of two Ephraimites who lived toward the end of the exodus of the Israelites (circa 1415 BC).

(1) The head of one of the families of the tribe of Ephraim (Nu 26:35).

(2) The son of Telah and father of Ladan, also of the tribe of Ephraim (1Ch 7:25 f).


ta-hap’-a-nez (tachpanchec).



ta’-hash (tachash; Tochos; the King James Version Thahash): A son of Nahor by his concubine Reumah (Ge 22:24). The word tachash means a kind of leather or skin, and perhaps the animal yielding it, probably the "dugong" (compare Brown, Briggs, and Driver). Tachash has been identified by Winckler with Tichis (Egypt), located on the Orontes, North of Kadesh.


ta’-hath (tachath, "below"): A wilderness station of the Israelites (Nu 33:26,27), between Makheloth and Terah.



(1) A Kohathite Levite (1Ch 6:24).

(2) The name is mentioned twice among the sons of Ephraim (1Ch 7:20); two families may be meant, or perhaps the name has been accidentally repeated.


ta-ke’-mo-nit, ta’-ke-mon-it (tachkemoni): Name of a family to which Jashobeam, the chief captain in David’s army, belonged (2Sa 23:8; 1Ch 11:11). In 1 Chronicles it is "Hachmonite."


ta’-pan-hez, ta-pan’-hez (usually in the Old Testament tachpanchec; Septuagint Taphnas; Coptic, Taphnes): The various spellings of the Hebrew text are fairly well indicated in the King James Version by Tahapanes (Jer 2:16); Tahpanhes (Jer 43:7-9; 44:1; 46:14); Tehaphnehes (Eze 30:18), while an Egyptian queen (XXIst Dynasty) is named Tahpenes (1Ki 11:19,20). Tahpanhes was a city on the eastern frontier of Lower Egypt, represented today by Tell Defenneh, a desert mound lying some 20 miles Southwest from Pelusium (Biblical "Sin") and a little North of the modern Al-Kantarah ("the bridge"), marking the old caravan route from Egypt to Palestine, Mesopotamia and Assyria. Its Egyptian name is unknown, but it was called Daphnai, by the Greeks, and by the modern Arabs Def’neh. The site is now desolate, but it was a fertile district when watered by the Pelusiac branch of the Nile (compare Isa 19:6,7). Tahpanhes was so powerful that Jeremiah can say that it, with Memphis, has "broken the crown" of Israel’s head (2:16), and Ezekiel can speak of its "daughters" (colonies or suburban towns), and names it with Heliopolis and Bubastis when the "yokes Septuagint "sceptres") of Egypt" shall be broken by Yahweh (30:18). In a later passage Jeremiah describes the flight of the Jews from their ruined capital to Tahpanhes after the death of Gedaliah (43:1-7) and prophesies that Nebuchadnezzar shall invade Egypt and punish it, establishing his throne upon the brick pavement (the King James Version "kiln") which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s royal palace at Tahpanhes (Jer 43:8-11). He calls Tahpanhes as a witness to the desolation of the cities of Judah (Jer 44:1), but prophesies an equal destruction of Tahpanhes and other Egyptian cities (probably occupied by fugitive Jews) when Nebuchadnezzar shall smite them (Jer 46:14).

This invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar was for a long time strenuously denied (e.g. as late as 1889 by Kuenen, Historisch-critisch Onderzoek, 265-318); but since the discovery and publication (1878) of fragments of Nebuchadnezzar’s annals in which he affirms his invasion of Egypt in his 37th year (568-567 BC), most scholars have agreed that the predictions of Jeremiah (43:9-13; 44:30) uttered shortly after 586 BC and of Ezekiel (29:19) uttered in 570 BC were fulfilled, "at least in their general sense" (Driver, Authority and Archaeology, 116). Three cuneiform inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar were found by Arabs probably on or near this site. The excavation of Tahpanhes in 1886 by W. M. Flinders Petrie made it "highly probable that the large oblong platform of brickwork close to the palace fort built at this spot by Psammetichus I, circa 664 BC, and now called Kasr Bint el-Yehudi, ‘the castle of the Jew’s daughter,’ is identical with the quadrangle ‘which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanhes’ in which Jeremiah was commanded to bury the stones as a token that Nebuchadnezzar would spread his pavilion over them when he led his army into Egypt" (ibid., 117). Josephus explicitly mentions that Nebuchadnezzar, when he captured Tahpanhes, carried off a Jewish contingent from that city (Ant., IX, vii). Dr. Petrie found that while a small fort had existed here since the Rameside era (compare Herodotus ii.17), yet the town was practically founded by Psammetichus I, continued prosperous for a century or more, but dwindled to a small village in Ptolemaic times. Many sealings of wine jars stamped with the cartouches of Psammetichus I and Amosis were found in situ. Tahpanhes being the nearest Egyptian town to Palestine, Jeremiah and the other Jewish refugees would naturally flee there (43:7). It is not at all unlikely that Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Egypt was partly due to Egypt’s favorable reception of these refugees.

The pottery found at Tahpanhes "shows on the whole more evidence of Greeks than Egyptians in the place. .... Especially between 607-587 BC a constant intercourse with the Greek settlers must have been going on and a wider intercourse than even a Greek colony in Palestine would have produced. .... The whole circumstances were such as to give the best possible opportunity for the permeation of Greek words and Greek ideas among the upper classes of the Jewish exiles" (Petrie, Nebesheh and Defenneh, 1888, 50). This was, however, only one of many places where the Greeks and Hebrews met freely in this century (see e.g. Duruy, History of Greece, II, 126-80; Cobern, Daniel, 301-307). A large foreign traffic is shown at Tahpanhes in which no doubt the Jews took part. Discoveries from the 6th century BC included some very finely painted pottery, "full of archaic spirit and beauty," many amulets and much rich jewelry and bronze and iron weapons, a piece of scale armor, thousands of arrow heads, and three seals of a Syrian type. One of the few inscriptions prays the blessing of Neit upon "all beautiful souls." There was also dug up a vast number of minute weights evidently used for weighing precious metals, showing that the manufacture of jewelry was carried on here on a large scale. One of the most pathetic and suggestive "finds" from this century, which witnessed the Babylonian captivity, consisted of certain curious figures of captives, carved in limestone, with their legs bent backward from their knees and their ankles and elbows bound together (Petrie, op. cit., chapters ix-xii).

Camden M. Cobern


ta’-pe-nez, ta-pe’-nez (tachpenec; Septuagint Thekem(e)ina): Queen of Egypt, the sister of Hadad’s wife and the foster-mother of his son Genubath (1Ki 11:19 f).



ta’-re-a, ta-re’-a (tachrea‘): Son of Micah, a descendant of Gibeon (1Ch 9:41; in 8:35 "Tarea").





tal (’alyah; zanabh; oura): The broad tail of the Syrian sheep, wrongly rendered "rump" (which see) in the King James Version, is mentioned as one of the portions of sacrifice which was burned on the altar as a sweet savor to God (Ex 29:22). The 2nd Hebrew word is used of the tails of serpents (Ex 4:4), of foxes, which Samson tied together in his cruel sport, in order to destroy the grainfields of the Philistines by means of attached firebrands (Jud 15:4, etc.). The following seems to be an allusion to this incident: "Fear not, neither let thy heart be faint, because of these two tails of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and of the son of Remaliah" (Isa 7:4).

Figurative: "Tail" = inferiority, as opposed to "head" = superiority, leadership. "Yahweh will make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if thou shalt hearken unto the commandments of Yahweh" (De 28:13; compare also 28:44).

In the New Testament we find oura used of the apocalyptic animals, scorpions, horses, and the dragon (Re 9:10,19; 12:4).

H. L. E. Luering


tak: Most of the very numerous examples of this word are still in good use and only a few call for special attention. "To take" in the sense of "capture" is still common, but when a person or living animal is in point, modern English usually adds "prisoner" or "captive." English Versions of the Bible not infrequently has this addition (Ge 14:14, etc.), but more commonly "take" is used without it (Jos 10:39; Job 5:13; Sirach 23:21; Joh 7:30, etc.). An occasional obscurity is thus caused, as in Ge 27:3, "take me venison" for "hunt venison for me." "To take advice" (2Ch 25:17; the King James Version Jud 19:30, the Revised Version (British and American) "counsel") is "to reflect," not "to consult others" (compare 1Ki 12:28; but contrast 2Ki 6:8, etc.). "To take knowledge of" is "to learn thoroughly," "investigate" (1Sa 23:23, etc.), as is "to take notice of" (2Sa 3:36). "To take an oath of" (Ge 50:25, etc.) is "to exact an oath of." "To be taken with a disease" in the King James Version Mt 4:24; Lu 4:38 is "to suffer with" (the Revised Version (British and American) "be holden with"), but in 1 Macc 9:55; 2 Macc 9:21 (the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)), the context gives the force "be attacked by," as in modern English Compare the King James Version Lu 8:37 (the Revised Version (British and American) "holden"); Mic 4:9 (the Revised Version (British and American) "take hold of"). "Take" occurs in the sense "overtake" in the King James Version Ge 19:19 (the Revised Version (British and American) "overtake"); Sirach 36:26. "Take away" has sometimes a more forcible significance than in modern English, as in the King James Version Le 6:2, "a thing taken away by violence" (the Revised Version (British and American) "robbery"); Da 11:12, the King James Version "He hath taken away the multitude," where the meaning is "swept away" (compare the Revised Version margin "carried away"; the Revised Version (British and American) "shall be lifted up" is inappropriate here). So in "lest he take thee away with his stroke" (the King James Version Job 36:18), "take away" means simply "slay." (The text here is intensely obscure, and the Revised Version (British and American) has followed a different interpretation.) So "to be taken away" may mean simply "to die," as in Eze 33:6; The Wisdom of Solomon 14:15; Sirach 16:9; 19:3; Mr 2:20, although in 1Co 5:2 it means "to be expelled." "To take away judgment" or "right" (Job 27:2; 34:5; Ac 8:33) is "to refuse it," but in Ze 3:15 English Versions of the Bible means "the sentence against thee is canceled" (the Hebrew text is dubious). Ne 5:2 the King James Version has "take up" for "get" (so the Revised Version (British and American)), perhaps with the connotation "on credit." "Take up" is also used frequently for "utter solemnly" (Nu 23:7; Isa 14:4, etc.), a use due to the Hebrew "lift up," "exalt" (nasa’). For "take up" in the sense of "lift" (physically), compare Isa 40:15; Ac 7:43; the King James Version 21:15. "Take care" in Tobit 5:20; 1Co 9:9 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "to care") means "be anxious about," "have in mind" And the very obscure "scurrility in the matter of giving and taking" (Sirach 41:19) is explained by the Hebrew to mean "refusing the gift for which thou art besought." The following phrases are archaic, but hardly need explanation: "Take indignation" (Ne 4:1); "take wrong" (1Co 6:7); "take up in the lips" (Eze 36:3; the King James Version Ps 16:4, "take .... into my lips," the Revised Version (British and American) "take .... upon my lips"); and in the King James Version "take to record" (Ac 20:26, the Revised Version (British and American) "testify unto"); "take shame" (Mic 2:6 the King James Version).

Burton Scott Easton


tal (tokhen, mithkoneth, micpar; leros): In the King James Version of the Old Testament (with one exception, Ps 90:9) "tale" (in the sing.) means number. "Tell" often has the same meaning, e.g. "I may tell (i.e. reckon) all my bones" (Ps 22:17). When Moses requested permission to go three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to Yahweh, Pharaoh replied by demanding the full "tale" of bricks from the Israelites although they were compelled to provide themselves with straw (Ex 5:8,18; see also 1Sa 18:27; 1Ch 9:28). In Ps 90:9, "as a tale that is told" is a doubtful rendering (see GAMES). The Septuagint and the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) render "as a spider’s web." The literal and perhaps accurate translation is "as a sigh" (Driver, in the Parallel Psalter, gives "as a murmur"). The word used in this psalm means "to whisper," or "speak sotto voce," as a devout believer repeats to himself the words of a favorite hymn or passage (Ps 1:2).

The disciples considered the account given by the women in regard to the resurrection as "idle tales" (the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "idle talk"), literally, "nonsensical talk" (Lu 24:11).

In talebearer the word has another meaning, namely, "slanderous talk or gossip." The word occurs 5 times in Pr 11:13; 18:8; 20:19; 26:20,22 (the King James Version) and once in Leviticus (19:16). The word used in Leviticus and also in Pr 20:19 means a person who gads about from house to house hawking malicious gossip (compare 1Ti 5:13). From the same root comes the Hebrew word for "merchant." In Eze 22:9 for the King James Version "men that carry tales" the Revised Version (British and American) gives "slanderous men," as Doeg (1Sa 22:9,22); Ziba (2Sa 16:3; 19:27); and a certain maid-servant (2Sa 17:17).


T. Lewis


tal’-ent (kikkar; talanton): A weight composed of 60 manehs (English Versions of the Bible "pounds") equal to about 120 pounds troy and 96 pounds avoirdupois, or 672,500 grains, of the Phoenician standard. See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. When used in the monetary sense the talent might be either of silver or gold, and the value varied according to the standard, but is probably to be taken on the Phoenician, which would give about 410 British pounds, or $2,050 (in 1915), for the silver talent and 6,150 British pounds or $30,750 (in 1915), for the gold.


Figurative: "Talent," like "pound," is used metaphorically in the New Testament for mental and spiritual attainments or gifts (Mt 25:15-28).

H. Porter


ta-le’-tha koo’-me (talitha koumi): Derived from the Aramaic Talyetha’ qumi, "damsel, arise"), which in the New Testament manuscripts is transliterated variously (Westcott-Hort, Taleitha koum, otherwise Talitha koumi). We have no data for determining how far Jesus employed the Aramaic language, but Mark (5:41) notes its use in this tender incident, and there is strong probability that Aramaic was used normally, if not exclusively, by Christ. There is, however, no ground for attributing any magical significance to the use of the Aramaic words in connection with this miracle.

TALMAI tal’-mi, tal’-ma-i (talmay):

(1) A clan, possibly of Aramean origin, generally reputed to be of gigantic height; resident in Hebron at the time of the Hebrew conquest and driven thence by Caleb (Nu 13:22; Jos 15:14; Jud 1:10).

(2) A son of Ammihur (or Ammihud), king of Geshur, a small Aramean kingdom, and a contemporary of David, to whom he gave his daughter Maacah in marriage. When Absalom fled from David after the assassination of Amnon he took refuge with Talmai at Geshur (2Sa 3:3; 13:37; 1Ch 3:2).


tal’-mon (talmon): One of the porters in connection with the temple-service (1Ch 9:17; Ezr 2:42; Ne 7:45; 11:19; 12:25).


tal’-mud (talmudh):





1. Zera‘im, "Seeds"

2. Mo‘edh, "Feasts"

3. Nashim, "Women"

4. Neziqin, "Damages"

5. Kodhashim, "Sacred Things"

6. Teharoth, "Clean Things"




1. Treatises after the 4th Cedher

2. Seven Little Treatises


The present writer is, for brevity’s sake, under necessity to refer to his Einleitung in den Talmud, 4th edition, Leipzig, 1908. It is quoted here as Introduction.

There are very few books which are mentioned so often and yet are so little known as the Talmud. It is perhaps true that nobody can now be found, who, as did the Capuchin monk Henricus Seynensis, thinks that "Talmud" is the name of a rabbi. Yet a great deal of ignorance on this subject still prevails in many circles. Many are afraid to inform themselves, as this may be too difficult or too tedious; others (the anti-Semites) do not want correct information to be spread on this subject, because this would interfere seriously with their use of the Talmud as a means for their agitation against the Jews.

I. Preliminary Remarks and Verbal Explanations.

(1) Mishnah, "the oral doctrine and the study of it" (from shanah, "to repeat," "to learn," "to teach"), especially

(a) the whole of the oral law which had come into existence up to the end of the 2nd century AD;

(b) the whole of the teaching of one of the rabbis living during the first two centuries AD (tanna’, plural tanna’im);

(c) a single tenet;

(d) a collection of such tenets;

(e) above all, the collection made by Rabbi Jehudah (or Judah) ha-Nasi’.

(2) Gemara’," the matter that is leaned" (from gemar, "to accomplish," "to learn"), denotes since the 9th century the collection of the discussions of the Amoraim, i.e. of the rabbis teaching from about 200 to 500 AD.

(3) Talmudh, "the studying" or "the teaching," was in older times used for the discussions of the Amoraim; now it means the Mishna with the discussions thereupon.

(4) Halakhah (from halakh, "to go"): (a) the life as far as it is ruled by the Law; (b) a statutory precept.

(5) Haggadhah (from higgidh, "to tell"), the non-halakhic exegesis.

II. Importance of the Talmud.

Commonly the Talmud is declared to be the Jewish code of Law. But this is not the case, even for the traditional or "orthodox" Jews. Really the Talmud is the source whence the Jewish Law is to be derived. Whosoever wants to show what the Jewish Law says about a certain case (point, question) has to compare at first the Shulchan ‘arukh with its commentary, then the other codices (Maimonides, Alphasi, etc.) and the Responsa, and finally the Talmudic discussions; but he is not allowed to give a decisive sentence on the authority of the Talmud alone (see Intro, 116, 117; David Hoffmann, Der Schulchan-Aruch, 2nd edition, Berlin, 1894, 38, 39). On the other hand, no decision is valid if it is against the yield of the Talmudic discussion. The liberal (Reformed) Jews say that the Talmud, though it is interesting and, as a Jewish work of antiquity, ever venerable, has in itself no authority for faith and life.

For both Christians and Jews the Talmud is of value for the following reasons:

(1) on account of the language, Hebrew being used in many parts of the Talmud (especially in Haggadic pieces), Palestinian Aramaic in the Palestinian Talmud, Eastern Aramaic in the Babylonian Talmud (compare "Literature," (7), below). The Talmud also contains words of Babylonian and Persian origin;

(2) for folklore, history, geography, natural and medical science, jurisprudence, archaeology and the understanding of the Old Testament (see "Literature," (6), below, and Introduction, 159-75). For Christians especially the Talmud contains very much which may help the understanding of the New Testament (see "Literature," (12), below).

III. The Traditional Law until the Composition of the Mishna.

The Law found in the Torah of Moses was the only written law which the Jews possessed after their return from the Babylonian exile. This law was neither complete nor sufficient for all times. On account of the ever-changing conditions of life new ordinances became necessary. Who made these we do not know. An authority to do this must have existed; but the claim made by many that after the days of Ezra there existed a college of 120 men called the "Great Synagogue" cannot be proved. Entirely untenable also is the claim of the traditionally orthodox Jews, that ever since the days of Moses there had been in existence, side by side with the written Law, also an oral Law, with all necessary explanations and supplements to the written Law.

What was added to the Pentateuchal Torah was for a long time handed down orally, as can be plainly seen from Josephus and Philo. The increase of such material made it necessary to arrange it. An arrangement according to subject-matter can be traced back to the 1st century AD; very old, perhaps even older, is also the formal adjustment of this material to the Pentateuchal Law, the form of Exegesis (Midrash). Compare Introduction, 19-21.

A comprehensive collection of traditional laws was made by Rabbi Aqiba circa 110-35 AD, if not by an earlier scholar. His work formed the basis of that of Rabbi Me’ir, and this again was the basis of the edition of the Mishna by Rabbi Jehudah ha-Nasi’. In this Mishna, the Mishna paragraph excellence, the anonymous portions generally, although not always, reproduce the views of Rabbi Me’ir.


The predecessors Rabbi (as R. Jehudah ha-Nasi’, the "prince" or the "saint," is usually called), as far as we know, did not put into written form their collections; indeed it has been denied by many, especially by German and French rabbis of the Middle Ages, that Rabbi put into written form the Mishna which he edited. Probably the fact of the matter is that the traditional Law was not allowed to be used in written form for the purposes of instruction and in decisions on matters of the Law, but that written collections of a private character, collections of notes, to use a modern term, existed already at an early period (see Intro, 10 ff).

IV. Division and Contents of the Mishna (and the Talmud).

The Mishna (as also the Talmud) is divided into six "orders" (cedharim) or chief parts, the names of which indicate their chief contents, namely, Zera‘im, Agriculture; Moe‘dh, Feasts; Nashim, Women; Neziqin, Civil and Criminal Law; Qodhashim, Sacrifices; Teharoth, Unclean Things and Their Purification.

The "orders" are divided into tracts (maccekheth, plural maccikhtoth), now 63, and these again into chapters (pereq, plural peraqim), and these again into paragraphs (mishnayoth). It is Customary to cite the Mishna according to tract chapter and paragraph, e.g. Sanh. (Sanhedhrin) x.1. The Babylonian Talmud is cited according to tract and page, e.g. (Babylonian Talmud) Shabbath 30b; in citing the Palestinian Talmud the number of the chapter is also usually given, e.g. (Palestinian Talmud) Shabbath vi.8d (in most of the editions of the Palestinian Talmud each page has two columns, the sheet accordingly has four).

1. Zera‘im, "Seeds":

(1) Berakhoth, "Benedictions": "Hear, O Israel" (De 6:4, shema‘); the 18 benedictions, grace at meals, and other prayers.

(2) Pe’ah, "Corner" of the field (Le 19:9 f; De 24:19 ).

(3) Dema’i, "Doubtful" fruits (grain, etc.) of which it is uncertain whether the duty for the priests and, in the fixed years, the 2nd tithe have been paid.

(4) Kil’ayim, "Heterogeneous," two kinds, forbidden mixtures (Le 19:19; De 22:9 ).

(5) Shebhi‘ith, "Seventh Year," Sabbatical year (Ex 23:11; Le 25:1 ); Shemiqqah (De 15:1 ).

(6) Terumoth, "Heave Offerings" for the priests (Nu 18:8 ff; De 18:4).

(7) Ma‘aseroth or Ma‘aser ri’shon, "First Tithe" (Nu 18:21 ).

(8) Ma‘aser sheni, "Second Tithe" (De 14:22 ).

(9) Challah, (offering of a part of the) "Dough" (Nu 15:18 ).

(10) ‘Orlah, "Foreskin" of fruit trees during the first three years (Le 19:23).

(11) Bikkurim, "First-Fruits" (De 26:1 ff; Ex 23:19).

2. Mo‘edh, "Feasts":

(1) Shabbath (Ex 20:10; 23:12; De 5:14).

(2) ‘Erubhin, "Mixtures," i.e. ideal combination of localities with the purpose of facilitating the observance of the Sabbatical laws.

(3) Pesachim, "Passover" (Ex 12; Le 23:5 ff; Nu 28:16 ff; De 16:1); Numbers 9, the Second Passover (Nu 9:10 ). ( 4) Sheqalim, "Shekels" for the Temple (compare Ne 10:33; Ex 30:12 ff).

(5) Yoma’," The Day" of Atonement (Le 16).

(6) Cukkah, "Booth," Feast of Tabernacles (Le 23:34 ff; Nu 29:12 ff; De 16:13 ).

(7) Betsah, "Egg" (first word of the treatise) or Yom Tobh, "Feast," on the difference between the Sabbath and festivals (compare Ex 12:10).

(8) Ro’sh ha-shanah, "New Year," first day of the month Tishri (Le 23:24 f; Nu 29:1 ).

(9) Ta‘anith, "Fasting."

(10) Meghillah, "The Roll" of Esther, Purim (Es 9:28).

(11) Mo‘edh qatan, "Minor Feast," or Mashqin, "They irrigate" (first word of the treatise), the days between the first day and the last day of the feast of Passover, and likewise of Tabernacles.

(12) Chaghighah, "Feast Offering," statutes relating to the three feasts of pilgrimage (Passover, Weeks, Tabernacles); compare De 16:16 f.

3. Nashim, "Women":

(1) Yebhamoth, "Sisters-in-Law" (perhaps better, Yebhamuth, Levirate marriage; De 25:5 ff; compare Ru 4:5; Mt 22:24).

(2) Kethubhoth, "Marriage Deeds."

(3) Nedharim, "Vows," and their annulment (Nu 30).

(4) Nazir, "Nazirite" (Nu 6).

(5) Gittin, "Letters of Divorce" (De 24:1; compare Mt 5:31).

(6) Cotah, "The Suspected Woman" (Nu 5:11 ).

(7) Qiddushin, "Betrothals."

4. Nezikin, "Damages":

(1) (2) and (3) Babha’ qamma’, Babha’ metsi‘a’, Babha’ bathra’," The First Gate," "The Second Gate," "The Last Gate," were in ancient times only one treatise called Neziqin: (a) Damages and injuries and the responsibility; (b) and (c) right of possession.

(4) and (5) Sanhedhrin, "Court of Justice," and Makkoth "Stripes" (De 25:1 ff; compare 1Co 11:24). In ancient times only one treatise; criminal law and criminal proceedings.

(6) Shebhu‘oth, "Oaths" (Le 5:1 ff).

(7) ‘Edhuyoth, "Attestations" of later teachers as to the opinions of former authorities.

(8) ‘Abhodhah zarah, "Idolatry," commerce and intercourse with idolaters.

(9) ‘Abhoth, (sayings of the) "Fathers"; sayings of the Tanna’im.

(10) Horayoth, (erroneous) "Decisions," and the sin offering to be brought in such a case (Le 4:13 ff).

5. Qodhashim, "Sacred Things":

(1) Zebhahim, "Sacrifices" (Le 1 ff).

(2) Menachoth, "Meal Offerings" (Le 2:5,11; 6:7; Nu 5:15, etc.).

(3) Chullin, "Common Things," things non-sacred; slaughtering of animals and birds for ordinary use.

(4) Bekhoroth, "The Firstborn" (Ex 13:2,12; Le 27:26,32; Nu 8:6, etc.).

(5) ‘Arakhin, "Estimates," "Valuations" of persons and things dedicated to God (Le 27:2).

(6) Temurah, "Substitution" of a common (non-sacred) thing for a sacred one (compare Le 27:10,33).

(7) Kerithoth, "Excisions," the punishment of being cut off from Israel (Ge 17:14; Ex 12:15, etc.).

(8) Me‘ilah, "Unfaithfulness," as to sacred things, embezzlement (Nu 5:6; Le 5:15).

(9) Tamidh, "The Daily Morning and Evening Sacrifice" (Ex 29:38; Nu 38:3).

(10) Middoth, "Measurements" of the Temple.

(11) Qinnim, "Nests," the offering of two turtle-doves or two young pigeons (Le 1:14 ff; 5:1 ff; 12:8).

6. Teharoth, "Clean Things":

This title is used euphemistically for "unclean things":

(1) Kelim, "Vessels" (Le 6:20 f; 11:32 ff; Nu 19:14 ff; 31:20 ).

(2) ‘Oholoth, "Tents," the impurity originating with a corpse or a part of it (compare Nu 19:14).

(3) Negha‘im, "Leprosy" (Le 13; 14).

(4) Parah, "Red Heifer"; its ashes used for the purpose of purification (Nu 19:2 ).


(5) Teharoth, "Clean Things," euphemistically for defilements.

(6) Mikwa’oth, "Diving-Baths" (Le 15:12; Nu 31:33; Le 14:8; 15:5 ff; compare Mr 7:4).

(7) Niddah, "The Menstruous" (Le 15:19 ff; 12).

(8) Makhshirin, "Preparers," or Mashqin, "Fluids" (first word of the treatise). Seven liquids (wine, honey, oil, milk, dew, blood, water) which tend to cause grain, etc., to become defiled (compare Le 11:34,37 f) .

(9) Zabhim, "Persons Having an Issue," flux (Le 15).

(10) Tebhul yom, "A Person Who Has Taken the Ritual Bath during the Day," and is unclean until sunset (Le 15:5; 22:6 f).

(11) Yadhayim, "Hands," the ritual impurity of hands and their purification (compare Mt 15:2,20; Mr 7:22 ff).

(12) ‘Uqtsin, "Stalks," the conveyance of ritual impurity by means of the stalks and hulls of plants.

V. The Palestinian Talmud.

Another name, Talmudh Yerushalmi ("Jerusalem Talmud"), is also old, but not accurate. The Palestinian Talmud gives the discussions of the Palestinian Amoraim, teaching from the 3rd century AD until the beginning of the 5th, especially in the schools or academies of Tiberias, Caesarea and Sepphoris. The editions and the Leyden manuscript (in the other manuscripts there are but few treatises) contain only the four cedharim i-iv and a part of Niddah. We do not know whether the other treatises had at any time a Palestinian Gemara. "The Mishna on which the Palestinian Talmud rests" is said to be found in the manuscript Add. 470,1 of the University Library, Cambridge, England (ed W.H. Lowe, 1883). The treatises ‘Edhuyoth and ‘Abhoth have no Gemara in the Palestinian Talmud or in the Babylonian.

Some of the most famous Palestinian Amoraim may be mentioned here (compare Introduction, 99 ff): 1st generation: Chanina bar Chama, Jannai, Jonathan, Osha’ya, the Haggadist Joshua ben Levi; 2nd generation: Jochnnan bar Nappacha, Simeon ben Lackish; 3rd generation: Samuel bar Nachman, Levi, Eliezer ben Pedath, Abbahu, Ze‘ira (i); 4th generation: Jeremiah, Acha’, Abin (i), Judah, Huna; 5th generation: Jonah, Phinehas, Berechiah, Jose bar Abin, Mani (ii), Tanhuma’.

VI. The Babylonian Talmud.

The Babylonian Talmud is later and more voluminous than the Palestinian Talmud, and is a higher authority for the Jews. In the first cedher only Berakhoth has a Gemara; Sheqalim in the 2nd cedher has in the manuscripts and in the editions the Palestinian Gemara; Middoth and Qinnim in the 5th cedher have no Babylonian Gemara. The greatest Jewish academies in Babylonia were in Nehardea, Cura, Pumbeditha and Mahuza.

Among the greatest Babylonian Amoraim are the following (compare Introduction, 99 ff): 1st generation: Abba Arikha or, shortly, Rab in Cura (died 247 AD). Mar Samuel in Nehardea (died 254 AD). 2nd generation: Rab Huna, Rab Judah (bar Ezekiel). 3rd generation: Rab Chisda, Rab Shesheth, Rab Nachman (bar Jacob), Rabbah bar Chana, the story-teller, Rabbah bar Nahmai, Rab Joseph (died 323 AD). 4th generation: Abaye, Raba’ (bar Joseph). 5th generation: Rab Papa. 6th generation: Amemar, Rab Ashi.

VII. The Non-canonical Little Treatises and the Tocephta’.

In the editions of the Babylonian Talmud after the 4th cedher we find some treatises which, as they are not without some interest, we shall not pass over in silence, though they do not belong to the Talmud itself (compare Introduction, 69 ff).

1. Treatises after the 4th Cedher:

(1) ‘Abhoth deRabbi Nathan, an expansion of the treatise ‘Abhoth, edition. S. Schechter, Vienna, 1887.

(2) Copherim, edition Joe Muller, Leipzig, 1878.

(3) ‘Ebhel Rabbathi, "Mourning," or, euphemistically, Semachoth, "Joys."

(4) Kallah, "Bride."

(5) Derekh ‘erets, "Way of the World," i.e. Deportment; Rabba’ and Zuta’," Large" and "Small."

2. Seven Little Treatises:

Septem Libri Talmudici parvi Hierolymitani, edition. R. Kirchheim, Frankfurt a. Main, 1851: Cepher Torah, Mezuzah, Tephillin, Tsitsith, ‘Abhadhim, Kuthim (Samaritans), Gerim (Proselytes).

The Tocephta’, a work parallel to Rabbi’s Mishna, is said to represent the views of R. Nehemiah, disciple of R. Aqiba, edition. M. S. Zuckermandel, Posewalk, 1880. Zuckermandel tries to show that the Tocephta’ contains the remains of the old Palestinian Mishna, and that the work commonly called Mishna is the product of a new revision in Babylonia (compare his Tosephta, Mischna und Boraitha in ihrem Verhaltnis zu einander, 2 volumes, Frankfurt a. Main, 1908, 1909).


(1) Introductions:

Hermann L. Strack, Einleitung in d. Talmud, 4th edition, Leipzig, 1908, in which other books on this subject are mentioned, pp. 139-44.

(2) Manuscripts (Introduction, 72-76):

There are manuscripts of the whole Mishna in Parma, in Budapest, and in Cambridge, England (the latter is published by W.H. Lowe, 1883). The only codex of the Palestinian Talmud is in Leyden; Louis Ginsberg, Yerushalmi Fragments from the Genizah, volume I, text with various readings from the editio princeps, New York, 1909 (372 pp., 4to). The only codex of the Babylonian Talmud was published whole in 1912 by the present writer: Talmud Babylonian codicis Hebrew Monacensis 95 phototypice depictum, Leyden (1140 plates, royal folio). On the manuscripts in the Vatican see S. Ochser, ZDMG, 1909, 365-93,126, 822 f.

(3) Editions (Introduction, 76-81):

(a) Mishna, editio princeps, Naples, 1492, folio, with the commentary of Moses Maimonides; Riva di Trento, 1559, folio, contains also the commentary of Obadiah di Bertinoro. The new edition printed in Wilna contains a great number of commentaries

(b) Palestinian Talmud, editio princeps, Venice, 1523 f, folio; Cracow, 1609, folio. Of a new edition begun by Asia Minor Luncz, Jerusalem, 1908 ff, two books, Berakhoth and Pe’ah, are already published. Another new critical edition, with German translation and notes, was begun in 1912 by G. Beer and O. Holtzman (Die Mischna, Giessen). Compare also B. Ratner, Ahabath Tsijjon Wirushalayim, Varianten und Erganzungen des Jerusalem Talmuds, Wilna, 1901 ff.

(c) Babylonian Talmud, editio princeps, Venice, 1520-23. The edition, Bale, 1578-81, is badly disfigured by the censorship of Marcus Marinus, Amsterdam, 1644-48, Berlin 1862-66. Compare R. Rabbinowicz, Variae Lectiones in Mishna et in Talmud Babylonicum, Munich, 1868-86, Przemysl, 1897 (the cedharim 3, 6 and 5 in part are missing).

(4) Translations:

E. Bischoff, Krit. Geschichte d. Tal-mudubersetzungen, Frankfurt a. Main, 1899.

(a) Mishna, Latin: Gull. Surenhusius, Amsterdam, 1698-1703 (contains also a translation of Maimonides and Obadiah di Bertinoro); German.: J.J. Rabe, Onolzbach, 1760 ff; A. Saminter, D. Hoffmann and others, Berlin, 1887 ff (not yet complete); English: De Sola and Raphall, 18 Treatises from the Mishna, London, 1843; Josephus Barclay, The Talmud, a Translation of 18 Treatises, London, 1878 (but 7 treatises also in De Sola and Raphall; Fiebig, Ausgewahlte Mischnatractate, Tubingen, 1905 ff (annotated German translation).

(b) Palestinian Talmud, Latin: 20 treatises in B. Ugolini, Thesaurus antiquitatum sacrarum, volumes XVII-XXX, Venice, 1755 ff. French: M. Schwab, Paris, 1878-89 (in 1890 appeared a 2nd edition of volume I).

(c) Babylonian Talmud, German.: L. Goldschmidt, Berlin (Leipzig), 1897 ff; gives also the text of the 1st Venetian edition and some variant readings (cedharim 1, 2, and 4 are complete); A. Wunsche, Der Babylonian Talmud in seinen haggadischen Bestandteilen ubersetzt, Leipzig, 1886-89. English: M.L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud .... Translated into English, New York, 1896 ff (is rather an abridgment (unreliable)).

(5) Commentaries (Introduction, 146-51):

(a) Mishna:

Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), Obadiah di Bertinoro (died 1510), Yom-Tobh Lipmann Heller (1579-1654), Israel Lipschutz.

(b) Babylonian Talmud:

Rashi or Solomon Yitschaqi (died 1105); The Tosaphoth (see L. Zunz, Zur Geschichte und Literatur, Berlin, 1845, 29-60); Menahem ben Solomon or Me’-iri (1249-1306); Solomon Luria (died 1573), commonly called Maharshal; Bezaleel Ashkenazi (16th century), author of the Shittah Mequbbetseth; Samuel Edels (1559-1631) or Maharsha’; Meir Lublin (died 1616); Elijah Wilna (died 1797); Aqiba Eger (died 1837).

(6) Single Treatises (Compare Introduction, 151-55):

(a) Mishna:

The present writer is publishing: Ausgewahlte Misnatraktate, nach Handschriften und alten Drucken (Text vokalisiert, Vokabular), ubersetzt und mit Berucksichtigung des Neuen Testaments erlautert, Leipzig (J. C. Hinrichs); Yoma’, 3rd edition, 1912, ‘Abhodhah Zarah, 2nd edition, 1909, Pirqe ‘Abhoth, 4th edition, 1914, Shabbath, 2nd edition, 1914, Sanhedhrin, Makkoth, 1910, Pecachim 1911, Berakhoth, 1914. This series is to be continued (H. Laible, e.g., is writing Nedharim); Ch. Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, in Hebrew and English, 2nd edition, Cambridge, 1897; W. A. L. Elmslie, The Mishna on Idolatry, with Translation, Cambridge, 1911.

(b) Gemara, Berakhoth, German:

E. M. Pinner, Berlin, 1842, fol; Pe’ah (Palestintan Talmud), German.: J. J. Rabe, Ansbach, 1781; Cukkah, Latin: F. B. Dachs, Utrecht, 1726, 4to; Ro’sh ha-shanah, German: M. Rawicz, Frankfurt a. Main, 1886; Ta‘anith German.: Straschun Halle, 1883; Chaghighah, English: A. W. Streane Cambridge, 1891; Kethubhoth, German: M. Rawicz, 1891; Cotah, Latin: J. Chr. Wagenseil, Altdorf, 1674-78; Babha’ Metsi‘a’, German: A. Sammter, Berlin, 1876, fol; Sanhedhrin, Latin: Ugolini, Thesaurus, volume XXV, German.: M. Rawicz, 1892; ‘Abhodhah Zarah, German: F. Chr. Ewald, Nurnberg, 1856; Zebhachin and Menachoth, Latin: Ugolini, Thesaurus, volume XIX; Hullin, German: M. Rawicz, Offenburg, 1908; Tamidh, Latin: Ugolini, Thesaurus, Vol XIX.

(7) Helps for the Grammatical Understanding (Introduction, 155-58):

(a) Mishna:

M. H. Segal, "Misnaic Hebrew," JQR, 1908, 647-737; K. Albrecht, Grammatik des Neuhebraischen (Sprache der Mishna), Munich, 1913;

(b) Talmud:

J. Levy, Neuhebr. und chald. Worterbuch, Leipzig, 1876-89; M. Jastrow, Dictionary of the .... Talmud Babylonian and Yerushalmi, New York, 1886-1903; W. Bacher, Die Terminologie der jud. Traditionsliteratur, Leipzig, 1905; G. Dalman, Grammatik des judischpalastin. Aramaisch, 2nd edition, Leipzig, 1905; C. Levias, Grammar of the Aramaic Idiom Contained in the Babylonian Talmud, Cincinnati, 1900; Max L. Margolis, Grammar of the Aramaic Language of the Babylonian Talmud with a Chrestomathy, Munich, 1909.

(8) The Haggadah (Introduction, 159-62):

The Haggadic elements of the Palestinian Talmud are collected by Samuel Jaffe in Yepheh Mar’eh, Constantinople, 1587, etc., those of the Babylonian by Jacob ibn Chabib in ‘En Ya‘aqobh, Saloniki, about 1516, etc.; W. Bacher, Die Agada der Tannaiten, 2 volumes, Strassburg, 1884, 1890 (1st volume, 2nd edition, 1903); Die A. der babylon. Amoraer, 1878; Die A. der palastinensischen Amoraer, 1892-99, 3 volumes; P. T. Hershon, A Talmudic Miscellany or 1001 Extracts, London, 1880; Treasures of the Talmud, London, 1882.

(9) Theology (Introduction, 162-65):

F. Weber, Judische Theologie, 2nd edition, Leipzig, 1897; J. Klausner, Die messianischen Vorstellungen des jud. Volkes im Zeitalter der Tannaiten, Berlin, 1904; R.T. Herford, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, London, 1903; H.L. Strack, Jesus, die Haretiker und die Christen nach den altesten jud. Angaben (texts, translation, commentary), Leipzig, 1910; L. Blau, Das altjudische Zauberwesen, Budapest, 1898; M. Lazarus, Die Ethik des Judentums, 2 volumes, Frankfurt a. Main, 1898, 1911.

(10) The Talmud and the Old Testament (Introduction, 167 f):

G. Aicher, Das Altes Testament in der Mischna, Freiburg i. Baden, 1906; V. Aptowitzer, Das Schriftwort in der rabbin. Literatur, 4 parts, Wien, 1906-11 (to be continued; various readings in the quotations); P.T. Hershon, Genesis, with a Talmudical Commentary, London, 1883.

(11) The Talmud and the New Testament (Introduction, 165-67):

Joh. Lightfoot, Horae hebraicae et talmudicae, edition Leusden, 2 volumes, fol T, Franeker, 1699; Chr. Schottgen, Horae hebraicae et talmudicae in universum Novum Test., 2 volumes, 4to, Dresden, 1733; Franz Delitzsch, "Horae hebraicae et talmudicae," in Zeitschrift fur die gesammte luther. Theologie u. Kirche, 1876-78; Aug. Wunsche, Neue Beitrage zur Erlauterung der Evangelien aus Talmud und Midrash, Goettingen, 1878; Th. Robinson, The Evangelists and the Mishna, London, 1859; W.H. Bennett, The Mishna as Illustrating the Gospels, Cambridge, 1884; Erich Bischoff, Jesus und die Rabbinen, Jesu Bergpredigt und "Himmelreich" in ihrer Unabhangigkeit vom Rabbinismus, Leipzig, 1905.

(12) Jurisprudence (Introduction, 169-71):

J. L. Saalschtitz, Das Mosaische Recht, 2nd edition, Berlin, 1853; Josephus Kohler, "Darstellung des talludischen Rechts," in Zeitschrift fur vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft, 1908, 161-264; Z. Frankel, Der gerichtliche Beweis nach mosaisch-talmud. Rechte, Berlin, 1846; P.B. Benny, The Criminal Code of the Jews, London, 1880; S. Mendelsohn, The Criminal Jurisprudence of the Ancient Hebrews, Baltimore, 1891; H.B. Fassel, Das mosaisch-rabbinische Civilrecht, Gross-Kanischa, 2 volumes, 1852-54; Das mos.-rabb. Gerichtsverfahren in civilrechtl. Sachen, 1859; M. Mielziner, The Jewish Law of Marriage and Divorce, Cincinnati, 1884; D.W. Amram, The Jewish Law of Divorce, Philadelphia, 1896; M. Rapaport, Der Talmud und sein Recht, Berlin, 1912.

(13) History (Introduction, 171 f):

J. Derenbourg, Histoire de la Palestine depuis Cyrus jusqu’a Adrien, Paris, 1867; L. Herzfeld, Handelsgeschichte der Juden des Altertums, 2nd edition, Braunschweig, 1894; A. Buchler, The Political and the Social Leaders of the Jewish Community of Sepphoris, London, 1909; S. Funk, Die Juden in Babylonien 200-500, 2 volumes, Berlin, 1902, 1908.

(14) Medical Science (Intro, 173):

Jul. Preuss, Biblisch-talmudische Medizin, Berlin, 1911 (735 pp.); L. Kotelmann, Die Ophthalmologie bei den alten Hebraern, Hamburg, 1910 (436 pp.).

(15) Archaeology:

Sam. Krauss, Talmudische Archaologic, 3 volumes, Leipzig, 1910-1912.

Hermann L. Strack


tal’-sas (Codex Alexandrinus Saloas, Codex Vaticanus Zalthas; the Revised Version (British and American) "Saloas"): In 1 Esdras 9:22 the King James Version =" Elasha" of Ezr 10:22.





ta’-mar (tamar, "palm"; Codex Vaticanus Themar; Codex Alexandrinus Thamar (so Codex Vaticanus in Genesis)):

(1) The wife of Er, the oldest son of Judah (Ge 38:6 ). Upon her husband’s death under the displeasure of Yahweh, his brother Onan ought to have performed the husband’s part, but he evaded his duty in this respect, and likewise perished. Shelah, the next brother, was promised to her, but not given. This led Tamar to the extraordinary course narrated in Ge 38:13 ff, on which see JUDAH. By her father-in-law she became the mother of Perez and Zerah (the King James Version "Pharez and Zarah"). Judah, who at first condemned her to be burned (Ge 38:24), was compelled to vindicate her (Ge 38:25,26). Through Perez she became an ancestress of Jesus (Thamar, Mt 1:3).

(2) A daughter of David and sister of Absalom (2Sa 13:1 ). Her beauty inflamed her half-brother Amnon with passion, and by stratagem he forcibly violated her. This brought upon Amnon the terrible revenge of Absalom.


(3) A daughter of Absalom (2Sa 14:27).


James Orr


(tamar, "palm tree"; Thaiman):

(1) This name occurs in Ezekiel’s ideal delimitation of the territory to be occupied by Israel (Eze 47:19; 48:28). The Dead Sea is the eastern border; and the southern boundary runs from Tamar as far as the waters of Meriboth-kadesh to the Brook of Egypt and the Great Sea. The place therefore lay somewhere to the Southwest of the Dead Sea. "Hazazon-tamar (the same is En-gedi)" (2Ch 20:2) is of course out of the question, being much too far to the North. Eusebius (in Onomasticon) mentions Asasonthamar, with which Thamara was identified. This place was a village with fortress and Roman garrison, a day’s journey from Mampsis on the way from Hebron to Elath. It is the Thamaro mentioned by Ptolemy (v.16, 8), as a military station on the road from Hebron to Petra. It is named also in the Peutinger Tables. Neither Mampsis nor Thamaro has been identified.

(2) Among the towns "built" or fortified by Solomon, named in 1Ki 9:18, is Tamar (the Revised Version (British and American) following Kethibh), or Tadmor (the King James Version following Qere; compare 2Ch 8:4). Gezer, Beth-horon and Baalath, named along with it, are all in Southern Palestine, while Tamar is described as in the wilderness in the land, pointing to the Negeb or to the Wilderness of Judah. It was probably intended to protect the road for trade from Ezion-geber to Jerusalem. We may with some confidence identify it with (1) above. It is interesting to note that the Chronicler (2Ch 8:4) takes it out of connection with the other cities (2Ch 8:5), and brings its building into relation with Solomon’s conquest of Hamath-zobah. Clearly in his mind it denoted the great and beautiful city of Palmyra, which has so long been known as "Tadmor in the Wilderness."

W. Ewing



(1) ‘eshel (Ge 21:33, the King James Version "grove," margin "tree"; 1Sa 22:6, the King James Version "tree," margin "grove"; 1Sa 31:13, the King James Version "tree"). The Revised Version (British and American) translation is due to the similarity of ‘eshel to the Arabic ‘athl, "the tamarisk."

(2) ar‘ar (Jer 17:6 margin (compare Jer 48:6), English Versions of the Bible "heath" (which see)).

The tamarisk (Tamarix, with various species in Palestine, chiefly T. Syriaca) is a very characteristic tree of Palestine, especially in the Maritime Plain, near the sea itself, and in the Jordan Valley. Eight species are described. They are characterized by their brittle, feathery branches and by their tiny scale-like leaves. Some varieties flourish not infrequently in salty soil unsuited to any ordinary vegetation.

E. W. G. Masteran


tam’-uz, tam’-mooz (tammuz; Thammouz):

(1) The name of a Phoenician deity, the Adonis of the Greeks. He was originally a Sumerian or Babylonian sun-god, called Dumuzu, the husband of Ishtar, who corresponds to Aphrodite of the Greeks. The worship of these deities was introduced into Syria in very early times under the designation of Tammuz and Astarte, and appears among the Greeks in the myth of Adonis and Aphrodite, who are identified with Osiris and Isis of the Egyptian pantheon, showing how widespread the cult became. The Babylonian myth represents Dumuzu, or Tammuz, as a beautiful shepherd slain by a wild boar, the symbol of winter. Ishtar long mourned for him and descended into the underworld to deliver him from the embrace of death (Frazer, Adonis, Attis and Osiris). This mourning for Tammuz was celebrated in Babylonia by women on the 2nd day of the 4th month, which thus acquired the name of Tammuz (see CALENDAR). This custom of weeping for Tammuz is referred to in the Bible in the only passage where the name occurs (Eze 8:14). The chief seat of the cult in Syria was Gebal (modern Gebail, Greek Bublos) in Phoenicia, to the South of which the river Adonis (Nahr Ibrahim) has its mouth, and its source is the magnificent fountain of Apheca (modern ‘Afqa), where was the celebrated temple of Venus or Aphrodite, the ruins of which still exist. The women of Gebal used to repair to this temple in midsummer to celebrate the death of Adonis or Tammuz, and there arose in connection with this celebration those licentious rites which rendered the cult so infamous that it was suppressed by Constantine the Great.

The name Adonis, by which this deity was known to the Greeks, is none other than the Phoenician ‘Adhon, which is the same in Hebrew. His death is supposed to typify the long, dry summer of Syria and Palestine, when vegetation perishes, and his return to life the rainy season when the parched earth is revivified and is covered with luxuriant vegetation, or his death symbolizes the cold, rough winter, the boar of the myth, and his return the verdant spring.

Considering the disgraceful and licentious rites with which the cult was celebrated, it is no wonder that Ezekiel should have taken the vision of the women weeping for Tammuz in the temple as one of the greatest abominations that could defile the Holy House.


(2) The fourth month of the Jewish year, corresponding to July. The name is derived from that of a Syrian god, identified with Adonis (Eze 8:14).

See above, and CALENDAR.

H. Porter

TANACH ta’-nak (ta‘nakh, ta‘andkh).



tan-hu’-meth (tanchumeth): One of those who were left in Judah by Nebuchadnezzar under the governorship of Gedallah (2Ki 25:23; Jer 40:8).


ta’-nis (Tanis (Judith 1:10)).



tan’-er (burseus, from bursa "a hide"): The only references to a tanner are in Ac 9:43; 10:6,32. The Jews looked upon tanning as an undesirable occupation and well they might, for at best it was accompanied with unpleasant odors and unattractive sights, if not even ceremonially unclean. We can imagine that Simon the tanner found among the disciples of Jesus a fellowship which had been denied him before. Peter made the way still easier for Simon by choosing his house as his abode while staying in Joppa. Simon’s house was by the seashore, as is true of the tanneries along the Syrian coast today, so that the foul-smelling liquors from the vats can be drawn off with the least nuisance, and so that the salt water may be easily accessible for washing the skins during the tanning process. These tanneries are very unpretentious affairs, usually consisting of one or two small rooms and a courtyard. Within are the vats made either of stone masonry, plastered within and without, or cut out of the solid rock. The sheep or goat skins are smeared on the flesh side with a paste of slaked lime and then folded up and allowed to stand until the hair loosens. The hair and fleshy matter are removed, the skins are plumped in lime, bated in a concoction first of dog dung and afterward in one of fermenting bran, in much the same way as in a modern tannery. The bated skins are tanned in sumach (Arabic summak), which is the common tanning material in Syria and Palestine. After drying, the leather is blackened on one side by rubbing on a solution made by boiling vinegar with old nails or pieces of copper, and the skin is finally given a dressing of olive oil. In the more modern tanneries degras is being imported for the currying processes. For dyeing the rams’ skins red (Ex 25 ) they rub on a solution of qermes (similar to cochineal; see DYEING), dry, oil, and polish with a smooth stone.

Pine bark is sometimes used for tanning in Lebanon. According to Wilkinson (Ancient Egypt, II, 186), the Arabs use the juice of a desert plant for dehairing and tanning skins. The skins for pouches are either tawed, i.e. tanned with a mineral salt like alum, or treated like parchment (see PARCHMENT). About Hebron oak branches, chopped into small chips, are used for tanning the leather bottles or water skins. In this case the hair is not removed. The tanning is accomplished, after removing the fleshy matter, by filling the skin with oak chips and water, tying up all openings in the skins, and allowing them to lie in the open on their "backs," with "legs" upright, for weeks. The field near Hebron where they arrange the bulging skins in orderly rows during the tanning process presents a weird sight. These are the bottles referred to in the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "skins") (Jos 9:4,13; Ho 7:5; Mt 9:17; Mr 2:22; Lu 5:37).

Leather was probably used more extensively than any records show. We know that the Egyptians used leather for ornamental work. They understood the art of making stamped leather. The sculptures give us an idea of the methods used for making the leather into sandals, trimmings for chariots, coverings of chairs, decorations for harps, sarcophagi, etc. There are two Biblical references to leather, where leather girdles are mentioned (2Ki 1:8; Mt 3:4).

See also CRAFTS, II, 17.

James A. Patch


tap’-es-tri (marebhaddim, from rabhadh, "to spread"): "Carpets of tapestry" are mentioned in Pr 7:16; 31:22. We have no means of knowing just what form of weaving is here referred to.



ta’-fath (taphath): Daughter of Solomon and wife of Ben-abinadab (1Ki 4:11).





tap’-u-a, ta-pu’-a (tappuach, "apple"):

(1) A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was slain by Joshua (12:17). It is named between Beth-el and Hepher, and may possibly be identical with the city named in Jos 16:8; see (3) below. There is nothing to guide us to a decision.

(2) (Omitted by Septuagint.) A city in the Shephelah of Judah (Jos 15:34). It is named between Engannim and Enam in a group of cities that lay in the Northwest of the territory of Judah. Tristram suggested identification with ‘Artuf, about 1 1/2 miles Southeast of Zorah. G.A. Smith places it in Wady el ‘Afranj, possibly identifying it with Tuffuch, fully 4 miles West of Hebron. This position, however, is not in the Shephelah. The place probably represents "Beth-tappuah" of Jos 15:53. No quite satisfactory identification has yet been suggested.

(3) A place on the border between Ephraim and Manasseh (Jos 16:8). "The land of Tappuah," i.e. the land adjoining the town, belonged to Manasseh, but the town itself belonged to Ephraim (Jos 17:8). En-tappuah was probably a neighboring spring. Tappuah was to the South of Michmethath, and the border ran from here westward to the brook Kanah. Some would place it at Khirbet ‘Atuf, about 11 miles Northeast of Nablus. More probably it should be sought to the Southwest of the plain of Makhneh (Michmethath). It may be identical with Tephon, which, along with Timnath, Pharathon, and other cities, Bacchides fortified "with high walls and gates and bars" (1 Macc 9:50). No identification is possible.

W. Ewing


(Tappuach; Codex Vaticanus Thapous; Codex Alexandrinus Thaphphou; Lucian, Phethrouth): A "son" of Hebron (1Ch 2:43).


ta’-ra, tar’-a (Nu 33:27 f the King James Version).



tar’-a-la (tar’alah; Codex Vaticanus Thareela; Codex Alexandrinus Tharala): A town in the territory of Benjamin named between Irpeel and Zelah (Jos 18:27). Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. "Therama") simply says it was in the tribe of Benjamin. In the times of Eusebius and Jerome, therefore, the site was already lost, and has not since been covered.


ta’-re-a, ta-re’-a (ta’area‘, a copyist’s mistake (1Ch 8:35) for tacharea, "the shrewd one," in 1Ch 9:41; Codex Vaticanus Theree; Codex Alexandrinus Tharee; Lucian, Tharaa; in 1Ch 9:41, Codex Vaticanus Tharach; Codex Alexandrinus Thara; Lucian, Tharaa; see TAHREA): A descendant of Saul mentioned in a genealogy of Benjamin (1Ch 9:41).


tarz (zizania (Mt 13:25 ), margin "darnel"): Zizania is equivalent to Arabic zuwan, the name given to several varieties of darnel of which Lolium temulentum, the "bearded darnel," is the one most resembling wheat, and has been supposed to be degenerated wheat. On the near approach of harvest it is carefully weeded out from among the wheat by the women and children. Zuwan is commonly used as chickens’ food; it is not poisonous to human beings unless infected with the mold ergot.





tar’-gum (targum):

1. Meaning and Etymology of the Term

2. Origin of the Targums

3. Language of the Targums

4. Mode in Which the Targums Were Given

5. Date of the Targums

6. Characteristics of the Different Targums

(1) Onqelos—the Man Characteristics of His Targum

(2) The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel on the Prophets

Characteristics of His Targum—Earlier Prophets; Later Prophets

(3) Hagiographa: Psalms, Job and Proverbs

(a) The Meghilloth

(b) Chronicles

(4) The Non-official Targums—Jonathan ben Uzziel and the Pentateuch

7. Use of the Targums


The Targums were explanations of the Hebrew Scriptures in Chaldaic (Western Aramaic) for the benefit of those Jews who had partially or completely ceased to understand the sacred tongue.

1. Meaning and Etymology of the Term:

By Gesenius the word methurgam, which occurs in Ezr 4:7, is interpreted as derived from ragham, "to pile up stones," "to throw," hence, "to stone," and then "to translate," though no example is given. Jastrow derives it from the Assyrian r-g-m, "to speak aloud," an etymology which suits the origin of the Targums. It is unfortunate that he gives no reference to any Assyrian document.

The word turgamanu is found, e.g., in the Tell el-Amarna Letters (Berlin edition, 21, 1. 25, Knudtzon, 154), with the meaning "interpreter." It may, none the less, be of Aramaic origin. See Muss-Arnolt, Concise Dictionary of the Assyrian Language, 1191 f, and the references there given.

The word is used as the Aramaic interpretation of shiggayon (Ps 7:1), a term the precise force of which is yet unfixed. From this ragham comes meturgheman, "an interpreter," and our modern "dragoman." Whatever the original meaning of the root, the word came to mean "to translate," "to explain."

2. Origin of the Targums:

At the time when Nebuchadnezzar carried the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah captive to the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates, the language of everyday life in Assyria and Babylonia had ceased to be that which has come down to us in the cuneiform inscriptions, and had become Aramaic, the lingua franca of Southwestern Asia. It was the language of diplomacy, of business and of social intercourse, and had long been so. Dwelling in the midst of those who used Aramaic alone, the Jews soon adopted it for every occasion save worship. In the family they might retain their mother tongue for a time, but this would yield at length to continuous pressure from without. In Palestine a similar process had been going on in the absence of the captives. Intruders from various neighboring peoples had pressed in to occupy the blanks left by the removal of the Jewish captives to Babylon. Although it is not recorded, it is not impossible that following the example of the Assyrians, Nebuchadnezzar may have sent into Judea compulsory colonists from other parts of his empire. The language common to all these, in addition to their native dialect, was Aramaic. The Jewish inhabitants that had been left in the land would, like their relatives in Babylonia, have become accustomed to the use of Aramaic, to the exclusion, more or less complete, of Hebrew. Another process had begun among the captives. Away from the site of their destroyed temple, the exiles did not, like those in Upper Egypt, erect another temple in which to offer sacrifices. Their worship began to consist in the study of the Law in common, in chanting of the Psalms and united prayers. This study of the Law implied that it should be understood. Though some form of synagogue worship was known in the times preceding the captivity under the direction probably of the prophets (2Ki 4:23), it must have become weak and ineffective. With the arrival of Ezra there was a revival of the study of the Law, and with that the necessity for the interpretation of it in language which the people could understand.

3. Language of the Targums:

From the facts above narrated, this language was of necessity Aramaic. There were, however, forces at work to modify the language. A translation is liable to be assimilated so far, to the language from which it is made. Thus there is a difference, subtle but observable, between the English of our the King James Version of the Bible and that of Shakespeare, Bacon, or even Hooker. Or, to take an example more cognate, if less accessible to the general reader, the difference may be seen if one compares the Syriac of the New Testament Peshitta with that of the Peshitta of the Old Testament. The Aramaic of the Targums is Western Aramaic, but it is Western Aramaic tinctured with Hebrew. The fact that the returned captives originally had spoken Hebrew would doubtless have its effect on their Aramaic. German in Jewish lips becomes Yiddish. One very marked feature is the presence of yath, the sign of the accusative translating the Hebrew ‘eth, whereas in ordinary Aramaic, Eastern and Western, this is unused, except as supporting the oblique case of pronouns. Further, the intensive construction of infinitive with finite sense, so frequent in Hebrew, though little used in ordinary Aramaic, appears in the Targums wherever it occurs in the Hebrew text. As a negative characteristic there is to be noted the comparative rarity with which the emphatic repetition of the personal pronoun, so frequent in ordinary Aramaic, occurs in the Targumic.

4. Mode in Which the Targums Were Given:

The account given in Nehemiah (8:8) of the reading of the Law to the people not only mentions that Ezra’s helpers read "distinctly" (mephorash), but "gave the sense" (som sekhel) "and caused them to understand the reading," the King James Version (wayyabhinu ba-miqra’). This threefold process implies more than merely distinct enunciation. If this passage is compared with Ezr 4:18 it would seem that mephorash ought to mean "interpreted." The most natural explanation is that alongside of the readers of the Law there were interpreters, meturghemanim, who repeated in Aramaic what had been read in Hebrew. What interval separated this public reading of the Law from the reading of the Law as a portion of synagogue worship we have no means of knowing. The probability is that in no long time the practice of reading the Law with an Aramaic interpretation was common in all Jewish synagogues. Elaborate rules are laid down in the Talmud for this interpretation; how far these were those actually used we cannot be absolutely certain. They at least represent the ideal to which after-generations imagined the originators of the practice aspired. The Law was read by the reader verse by verse, and each verse was followed by a recitation by the meturgheman of the Aramaic version. Three verses of the prophetic books were read before the Aramaic was recited. The Talmudists were particular that the reader should keep his eye on the roll from which he read, and that the meturgheman should always recite his version without looking at any writing, so that a distinction should be kept between the sacred word and the version. At first the Targum was not committed to writing, but was handed down by tradition from meturgheman to meturgheman. That of the Law became, however, as stereotyped as if it had been written. So to some extent was it with the Prophets and also the Psalms. The Targums of the rest of the Kethubhim seem to have been written from the beginning and read in private.

5. Date of the Targums:

We have assumed that the action of Ezra narrated in Ne 8:8 implied not only the reading of the Law, but also the interpretation of its language—its translation in fact from Hebrew to Aramaic, and that, further, this practice was ere long followed in all the synagogues in Judea. This view is maintained by Friedmann (Onkelos u. Akylas, 1896) and was that assumed to be correct by the Talmud. Dr. Dalman assures his readers that this is a mistake, but without assigning any reasons for his assertion. Dr. Dalman is a very great authority, but authority is not science, so we venture to maintain the older opinion. The fact is undeniable that, during the Persian domination all over Southwestern Asia, Aramaic was the lingua franca, so much so that we see by the Assouan and Elephantine papyri the Jewish garrison at Assouan in Egypt wrote to their co- religionists in Judea, and to the Persian governors, in Aramaic. Moreover, there is no trace that they used any other tongue for marriage contracts or deeds of sale.

We may assume that in Judea the language commonly used in the 5th century BC was Aramaic. We may neglect then the position of Mr. Stenning (Enc Brit (11th edition), XXVI, 418b) that "probably as early as the 2nd century BC the people had adopted Aramaic." By that time Aramaic was giving place to Greek. His reason for rejecting the position above maintained is that the dates assigned by criticism to certain prophetic writings conflict with it—a mode of reasoning that seems to derive facts from theories, not theories from facts.

The fact that the necessity for translation into Aramaic existed in the Persian period implies the existence of the meturgheman and the targum. It is more difficult to know when these Targums were committed to writing. It is probable that the same movement, which led Jehudah ha-Nasi’ to commit to writing the decisions of the rabbis which form the Mishna, would lead to writing down the Targums—that is to say late in the 2nd century of our era. Aramaic was disappearing in Palestine and the traditional renderings would be liable to be forgotten. Talmudic stories as to dates at which the various Targums were written down are absolutely valueless.

6. Characteristics of the Different Targums:

The Targums that require most to be considered are the official Targums, those that are given in the rabbinic Bibles in columns parallel with the columns of Hebrew. In addition, there is for the Law the Targum Yerushalmi, another recension of which is called Targum Yonathan ben Uzziel. The Book of Esther has two Targums. Besides these, Targums of doubtful value have been written by private individuals. Certain books have no official Targums: Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles. The reason for this is supposed to be that in both Daniel and Ezra there are portions written in Aramaic. Nehemiah and Chronicles were regarded as forming one book with Ezra. A late Targum on Chronicles has been found and published separately. Some of the apocryphal additions to Esther appear in a late Targum to that book. The official Targums of the Law and the Prophets approach more nearly the character of translations, though even in them verses are at times explained rather than translated. The others are paraphrastic to a greater or less degree.

(1) Onqelos—the Man.

This is the name given to the official Targum of the Pentatuech. The legend is that it was written by one Onqelos, a proselyte son of Kalonymus or Kalonikus, sister’s son of Titus. He was associated with the second Gamaliel and is represented as being even more minutely punctilious in his piety than his friend. The legend goes on to say that, when he became a proselyte, his uncle sent company after company of soldiers to arrest him, but he converted them, one after another. It is at the same time extremely doubtful whether there ever was such a person, a view that is confirmed by the fact that legends almost identical are related of Aquila, the translator of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. The names are similar, and it may be are identical. While there may have been a person so named, the admission of this does not imply that he had any connection with the Targum of the Pentateuch named after him. Another explanation is that as the Greek version of Aquila was much praised by the Jews for its fastidious accuracy, and this Targum of the Law was credited with equally careful accuracy, so all that is meant is that it was regarded as a version which as accurately represented in Aramaic the Hebrew of the Law as did Aquila’s Greek. The probability is that whoever it was who committed the Targum to writing did little or no actual translating. It might not be the work of one unassisted author; the reference to the guidance Onqelos is alleged to have received from the rabbis Eliezer and Joshua suggests this. Owing to the fact that the Law was read through in the course of a year in Babylonian (once in three years in Pal) and every portion interpreted verse by verse in Aramaic, as it was read, the very words of the traditional rendering would be remembered. This gives the language of the Targum an antique flavor which may be seen when it is compared with that of the Palestinian lectionary discovered by Mrs. Gibson and Mrs. Lewis. Especially is this observed when the renderings of the same passage are put in comparison. Both in vocabulary and grammar there is a difference; thus mar occurs for shalleT, and yath as the sign of the accusative has disappeared in the lectionary. An analogy may be seen in the antique flavor of the language of our English Bible, even in the Revised Version (British and American). If any credence were to be given to the traditional account of the alleged authors, the date of this Targum would be the end of the 1st century AD. But we have seen that it has been named Aquila and that the title means "as accurate as Aquila." He, however, lived in the beginning of the 2nd century. His Greek version must have already gained a reputation before the Aramaic Targum appeared. We cannot therefore date the actual committing of this Targum to writing earlier than late in the 2nd century, not improbably, as suggested above, contemporary with the writing down of the Mishna by Jehadah ha-Nasi’.

Characteristics of His Targum:

The characteristics of this Targum are in general close adherence to the original, sometimes even to the extent of doing violence to the genius of the language into which it has been translated. One prominent example of this is the presence of yath as the sign of the accusative; and there is also the intensive construction of infinitive with finite tense. There is a tendency to insert something between God and His worshipper, as "mimera’ Yahweh" instead of simply "Yahweh." Where anthropomorphisms occur, an exact translation is not attempted, but the sense is represented in an abstract way, as in Ge 11:5, where instead of "The Lord (YHWH) came down" there is "The Lord (yiya’) was revealed." At the same time there is not a total avoidance of paraphrase. In Ge 4:7 the Targum renders, "If thou doest thy work well, is it not remitted unto thee? if thou doest not thy work well, thy sin is reserved unto the day of judgment when it will be required of thee if thou do not repent, but if thou repent it shall be remitted to thee." It will be observed that the last clause of the Hebrew is omitted. So in Ge 3:22, instead of "Man has become as one of us," Onqelos writes "Man has become alone in the world by himself to know good and evil.’ A more singular instance occurs in Ge 27:13, where Rebekah answers Jacob, "Upon me be thy curse, my son"; in the Targum it is, "Unto me it hath been said in prophecy, there shall be no curse upon thee my son." Sometimes there is a mere explanatory expansion, as in Ex 3:1, where instead of "the mount of God," Onqelos has "the mountain on which the glory of the Lord was revealed." In the mysterious passage, Ex 4:24-26, later Jewish usage is brought in to make an easy sense: "And it was on the way in the inn (house of rest) that the angel of the Lord met him and sought to slay him. And Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off the foreskin of her son and came near before him and said ‘In the blood of this circumcision is the bridegroom given back to us,’ and when therefore he had desisted she said, ‘Had it not been for the blood of this circumcision the bridegroom would have been condemned to die.’" Here chathan (" bridegroom") is used according to later custom of the child to be circumcised. Sometimes reasons of propriety come in, as when the sin of Onan is described "corrupting his way on the earth. It is, however, in the poetical passages that the writer gives loose rein to paraphrase. As an example the blessing of Judah in Jacob’s blessing of his sons may be given: "Judah, thou art praise and not shame; thee thy brethren shall praise. Thy hands shall be strong upon thine enemies, those that hate thee shall be scattered; they shall be turned back before thee; the sons of thy father shall come before thee with salutations. (Thy) rule shall be in the beginning, and in the end the kingdom shall be increased from the house of Judah, because from the judgment of death, my son, thy soul hast thou removed. He shall rest, he shall abide in strength, as a lion and as a lioness there is nothing may trouble him. The ruler shall not depart from the house of Judah nor the scribe from his son’s sons for ever till the Messiah come whose is the kingdom and whom the heathen shall obey. Israel shall trade in his cities, the people shall build his temple, the saints shall be going about to him and shall be doers of the Law through his instruction. His raiment shall be goodly crimson; his clothing covering him, of wool dyed bright with colors. His mountains shall be red with his vineyards, his hills shall flow down with wine, and his valleys shall be white with corn and with flocks of sheep."

Committed to writing in Palestine, the Targum of Onqelos was sent to Babylon to get the imprimatur of the famous rabbis residing there. There are said to be traces in the language of a revision by the Babylonian teachers, but as this lies in the prevalence of certain words that are regarded as more naturally belonging to Eastern than Western Aramaic, it is too restrictedly technical to be discussed here. The result of the Babylonian sanction was the reception of this Targum as the official interpretation of the books of the Law. It seems probable that the mistake which led to its being attributed to Onqelos was made in Babylon where Aquila’s Greek version was not known save by vague reputation.

(2) The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel on the Prophets.

This Jonathan, to whom the Targum on the Prophets is attributed, is declared to be one of the most distinguished pupils of Hillel. The prophetic section of the Bible according to the Jews contains, besides what we ordinarily reckon prophetic books, also all the earlier historical books except Ruth, which is placed among the Hagiographa. During the persecution of the Jews by Epiphanes, when the Law was forbidden to be read in the synagogue, portions of the Prophets were read instead. There was no attempt to read the whole of the Prophets thus, but very considerable portions were used in worship. This necessitated the presence of the meturgheman. If one might believe the Talmudic traditions, Jonathan’s Targum was committed to writing before that of Onqelos. Jonathan is regarded as the contemporary of the first Gamaliel, whereas Onqelos is the friend of Aqiba, the contemporary of Hadrian. The tradition is that when he published his Targum of the Prophets, all Palestine was shaken, and a voice from heaven was heard demanding, "Who is this who revealeth my secrets to the sons of men?" As an example of the vagueness of Talmudic chronology, it may be mentioned that Jonathan was said to have made his Targum under the guidance of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. He is said to have desired to write a Targum of the Kethubhim, but was forbidden by a voice from heaven. The Targum of Job was skid to have been already written, but was buried by Gamaliel. It is said to have been exhumed and that the present Targum on that book is from Jonathan’s hand. The tomb of Jonathan ben Uzziel is shown on the face of a hill to the North of Safed, Palestine.

Characteristics of His Targum—Earlier Prophets; Later Prophets

In the former Prophets—the historical books—the style does not differ much from that of Onqelos. Occasionally there are readings followed which are not in the Massoretic Text, as Jos 8:12, where the Targum has "the west side of Ai" instead of as in the Massoretic Text, "the west side of the city." Sometimes two readings are combined, as in 8:16, where the Massoretic Text has "all the people which were in the city," the Targum adds "in Ai." Again, the Targum translates proper names, as, in Jos 7:5, "Shebarim" (shebharim) is rendered "till they were scattered." Such are the variations to be seen in the narrative portion of the Targum of the earlier Prophets. When, however, a poetical piece occurs, the writer at times gives rein to his imagination. Sometimes one verse is exceedingly paraphrastic and the next an accurate rendering without any addition. In the song of Deborah (Jud 5) the 1st verse has only a little of paraphrase: "Then sang praises Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on account of the lifting up and deliverance which had been wrought in that day, saying ...." The verse which follows is very paraphrastic; instead of the 7 words of the verse in the Massoretic Text the Targum has 55. it is too long to quote in full, but it begins, "Because the house of Israel rebelled against His Law, the Gentiles came up upon them and disturbed their assemblies, and because they refused to obey the Law, their enemies prevailed against them and drove them from the borders of the land of Israel," and so on, Sisera and all his host being introduced. Jud 5:3 reads thus, "Hear O kings who are with him, with Sisera for war, who obey the officers of Jabin the king of Canaan; with your might and your valor ye shall not prevail nor go up against Israel, said I Deborah in prophecy before the Lord. I will sing praise and bless before Yahweh the God of Israel."

The later prophets are more paraphrastic as a whole than the earlier, as having more passages with poetic metaphors in them—a fact that is made plain to anyone by the greater space occupied in the rabbinic Bibles by the Targums of the Prophets. A marked example of this tendency to amplify is to be found in Jer 10:11: "Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens." As this verse is in Aramaic it might have been thought that it would have been transferred to the Targum unchanged, but the Targumist has made of the 10 words of the original text 57. Sometimes these expansions may be much shorter than the above example, but are illuminative, showing the views held by the Jewish teachers. In Isa 29:1, "Ho Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped!" the Targum has "Woe to the altar, the altar which David built in the city in which he dwelt." In this rendering we see the Jewish opinion that "Ariel," which means "lion of God," in this connection stood for the "altar" which David erected in Jerusalem. It seems unlikely that this whole Targum was the work of one writer, but the style gives little indication of difference. The paraphrase of the synagogal haphTaroth being traditional, the style of the person who committed it to writing had little scope. The language represents naturally an older stage of development than we find in the contemporary Christian lectionaries. As only portions of the Prophets were used in synagogue worship, only those portions would have a traditional rendering; but these fixed the style. In the Revised Version (British and American) of the Apocrypha the 70 verses which had been missing from 2 Esdras 7 are translated in the style adopted by the translators under King James. It is impossible to fix the date at which the Targum of any of the prophetic books was written down. It is probable that it was little if at all after that of Onqelos. The completion of the paraphrases of the prophetic writings, of which only portions were used in the synagogue, seems to imply that there were readers of the Aramaic for whose benefit those Targums were made.

(3) Hagiographa: Psalms, Job and Proverbs

(a) The Meghilloth

The Targums of the third division of the Hebrew sacred writings, the Kethubhim (the Hagiographa), are ascribed to Joseph Caecus, but this is merely a name. There is no official Targum of any of the Hagiographa, and several of them, Daniel, Nehemiah and Ezra, as above noted, have no Targum at all. Those of the longer books of this class, Psalms, Proverbs and Job, are very much closer to the text than are the Targums of the Meghilloth. In the Psalms, the paraphrase is explanatory rather than simply expansive. Thus in Ps 29:1, "ye sons of the mighty" is rendered "ye companies of angels, ye sons of the mighty." Ps 23 is further from the text, but it also is exegetic; instead of "Yahweh is my shepherd, I shall not want," the Targum reads, "The Lord nourished His people in the wilderness so that they lacked nothing." So the last clause of the last verse of this psalm is, "‘I shall indeed dwell in the house of the holiness of the Lord for the length of days." Another example of exegesis is Ps 46:4, in which the "river whose streams make glad the city of our God" is explained as "the nations as rivers making glad the city of Yahweh." Much the same may be said of Job, so examples need not be given.

The Targum of Proverbs has been very much influenced by the Peshitta; it may be regarded as a Jewish recension of it. Those of the five Meghilloth, as they are called, So of Songs, Ruth, Lamentation, Ecclesiates, and Esther, are excessively paraphrastic. If one compare the space occupied by the text of Canticles and Proverbs, it will be found that the former occupies about one-sixth of the latter; if the Targums of the two books are compared in Lagarde’s text, the Canticles are two-thirds of Proverbs. So Lamentations occupies in the Massoretic Text less than a quarter the space which Proverbs occupies; but the Targum of Lain is two-fifths the size of the Targum of Proverbs. Ru has not suffered such a dilatation; in the text it is a fifth, in the Targum a fourth, the size of Proverbs. The expansion mainly occurs in the first verse in which ten different famines are described. Ecclesiates in the Massoretic Text uses about three-eighths of the space occupied by Proverbs. This is increased to five-sixths in the Targum. There are two Targums of Esther, the first about five-sixths the size of Proverbs, the second, nearly double. The text is under one-half. We subjoin the Targum of La 11 from Mr. Greenup’s translation: Jeremiah the prophet and high priest said: "How is it decreed against Jerusalem and against her people that they should be condemned to exile and that lamentation should be made for them? How? Just as Adam and Eve were condemned who were ejected from the garden of Eden and over whom the Lord of the universe lamented. How? God the judge answers and speaks thus: ‘Because of the multitude of the sins which were in the midst of her, therefore she will dwell alone as the man in whose flesh is the plague of leprosy dwells alone! And the city that was full of crowds and many people hath been deserted by them and become like a widow. And she that was exalted among the peoples and powerful among the provinces, to whom they paid tribute, hath been scattered abroad so as to be oppressed and to give tribute to them after this." This gives a sufficient example of the extent to which expansion can go. Verse 1 of Esther in the first Targum informs us that the cessation of the work of building the Temple was due to the advice of Vashti, and that she was the daughter of Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and a number of equally accurate pieces of information. Yet more extravagant is the 2nd Targum; it begins by asserting that there are ten great monarchs of whom Achhashverosh was the 6th, the Greek and Roman were the 7th and the 8th, Messiah the king the 9th, and the Almighty Himself the 10th. It evidently has no connection with the first Targum.

(b) Chronicles

The Targum of Chronicles, although late, is modeled on the Targums of Jonathan ben Uzziel. In cases where the narrative of Chronicles runs parallel with that of Samuel the resemblance is very great, even to verbal identity at times. The differences sometimes are worthy of note, as where in 1Ch 21:2, instead of "Dan" the Targum has "Pameas" (Paneas), which affords an evidence of the lateness of this Targum. In the rabbinic Bible, Chronicles appear, as do Ezra, Nehemiah and Daniel, without a parallel Targum.

(4) The Non-official Targums—Jonathan ben Uzziel and the Pentateuch

There is a Targum on the Pentateuch attributed to Jonathan ben Uzziel which is very paraphrastic. Fragments of another closely related Targum have been preserved, known as the Jerusalem Targum. In face the two may really be regarded as different recensions of the same Targum. It is supposed that some manuscript was denominated simply "the targum of J," which, really being the initial representing, "Jerusalem," was taken as representing Jonathan. At the end of each of the books of the Pentateuch is is stated that this Targum is the "targum Yerushalmi" Of the two the Yerushalmi is the longer. Both assert that five signs accompanied Jacob in his stay in Haran: the time was shortcried; the distance was shortened; the four stones for his pillow became one; his strength was increased so that with his own arm he moved the stone covering the well which it took all the shepherds to move; the water gushed from the well all the days he dwelt in Haran. But the narrative of ben Uzziel is expanded to nearly twice the length in the Yerushalmi. This Targum may be regarded as to some extent semi-official.

7. Use of the Targums:

As the Targums appear to have been committed to writing after the Massoretic Text was fixed, textual differences are few and unimportant. Kohn mentions that in a few cases Onqelos agrees with the Samaritan against the Massoretic Text; they are, however, few, and possibly may be explained by differences of idiom, though from the slavish way in which Onqelos follows the Hebrew text this is improbable. The Palestine Targum agrees with the Samaritan and the versions in adding "Let us go into the field" in Ge 4:8. The main benefit received from the Targums is the knowledge of the views of the Jewish rabbis as to the meaning of certain passages Thus in Ge 49:10 there is no doubt in the mind of the Targumist that "Shiloh" refers to the Messiah. Some other cases have been noted above. The frequency with which the word of the Lord (mimera’ yeya’) is used in Onqelos as equivalent to YHWH, as Ge 3:8, "They heard the voice of the word of the Lord God," mimera’ dheyeya’ ‘Elohim, requires to be noted from its bearing on Christian theology. There is a peculiar usage in Ge 15:1: YHWH says to Abraham, "Fear not, Abram, my word (mimera’) shall help thee." Pharaoh is represented as using this periphrasis: "The word of the Lord (mimera’ yeya’) be for your help when I send away you and your little ones" (Ex 10:10). A striking use of this phrase is to be found in De 33:27, where instead of "Underneath are the everlasting arms," we have "By His word the world was made." This is at once seen to resemble the usage of Philo and the apostle John. As the Targums had not been committed to writing during the lifetime of either of these writers, it might be maintained that the Targumists had been influenced by Philo. This, however, does not follow necessarily, as both apostle and philosopher would have heard the Targum of the Law recited Sabbath after Sabbath from their boyhood, and the phrase mimera’ yeya’ would remain in their memory. The Targums of the pseudo-Jonathan and that of Jerusalem have a yet more frequent use of the term. Edersheim has counted 176 occurrences of the phrase in Onqelos and 321 in that of the pseudo-Jonathan and in the fragments of the Yerushalmi 99. This is made the more striking by the fact that it rarely occurs in the rest of Scripture. In Am 1:2, instead of "Yahweh .... will utter his voice from Jerusalem," we have "From Jerusalem will He lift up His word" (memerih). The usual equivalent for the prophet’s formula "the word of the Lord" is pithgam YHWH. An example of the usage before us may be found in Ps 56:4,10: "In the righteousness of the judgment of God will I praise his word" (memerih). There was thus a preparation for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity imbedded in the most venerated Targum, that of the Law.


The text of the official Targums is to be found in every rabbinic Bible. Berliner has published a careful, vocalized edition of Onqelos. The Prophets and the Hagiographa have been edited by Lagarde, but unvocalized. For the language Peterrnann’s grammar in the Porta Linguarum Orientalium is useful. Levy’s Chaldaisches Woterbuch is very good. Jastrow’s Diet. of the Targumim is invaluable. Brextorf’s Lexicon Talmudicum supplies information not easily available elsewhere. The Targums on the Pentateuch have been translated by Etheridge. There is an extensive literature on this subject in German. In English the different Bible Dictionaries. may be consulted, especially McClintock, DB, HDB, EB, etc. The article in Encyclopedia Brit is worthy of study, as also naturally that in the Jewish Encyclopedia.

J. E. H. Thomson


tar’-pel-its (Tarpelaye’ (Ezr 4:9)): Various theories have been advanced as to the identity of the Tarpelites. Rawlinson suggested the Tuplai, which name appears in the inscriptions as equivalent to the Greek Tibarenoi, a tribe on the coast of Pontus. Hitzig located them in Tripolis in Northern Phoenicia. The latest theory emends the text to Tiphceraya’," tablet-writers" (from the Assyrian dup sarru); compare Schrader, Schrader, The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the Old Testament, on Jer 51:27.


tar’-shish (tarshish):

(1) Eponym of a Benjamite family (1Ch 7:10); Rhamessai, A and Lucian, Tharseis

(2) One of the "seven princes" at the court of Ahasuerus (Es 1:14 Massoretic Text).

(3) The Hebrew name of a precious stone (Eze 10:9 margin, English Versions of the Bible "beryl"; Ex 28:20; 39:13; Eze 1:16; 28:13; So 5:14; Da 10:6).



See SHIPS AND BOATS, II, 1, (2).


tar’-sus (Tarsos, ethnic Tarseus) :

1. Situation

2. Foundation Legends

3. Tarsus under Oriental Power

4. Tarsus under Greek Sway

5. Tarsus in the Roman Empire

6. The University

7. The Tarsian Constitution 8. Paul of Tarsus

9. Later History


1. Situation:

The chief city of Cilicia, the southeastern portion of Asia Minor. It lay on both banks of the river Cydnus, in the midst of a fertile alluvial plain, some 10 miles from the seacoast. About 6 miles below the city the river broadened out into a considerable lake called Rhegma (Strabo xiv.672), which afforded a safe anchorage and was in great part fringed with quays and dockyards. The river itself, which flowed southward from the Taurus Mountains with a clear and swift stream, was navigable to light craft, and Cleopatra, when she visited Antony at Tarsus in 38 BC, was able to sail in her richly decorated barge into the very heart of the city (Plut. Ant. 26). The silting-up of the river’s mouth seems to have resulted in frequent floods, against which the emperor Justinian (527-65 AD) attempted to provide by cutting a new channel, starting a short distance North of the city, to divert the surplus water into a watercourse which lay to the East of Tarsus. Gradually, however, the original bed was allowed to become choked, and now the Cydnus flows wholly through Justinian’s channel and passes to the East of the modern town. Two miles North of Tarsus the plain gives way to low, undulating hills, which extend to the foothills of Taurus, the great mountain chain lying some 30 miles North of the city, which divides Cilicia from Lycaonia and Cappadocia. The actual frontier-line seems to have varied at different periods, but the natural boundary lies at the Cilician Gates, a narrow gorge which Tarsian enterprise and engineering skill had widened so as to make it a wagon road, the chief highway of communication and trade between Cilicia and the interior of Asia Minor and one of the most decisive factors in Anatolian history. Eastward from Tarsus ran an important road crossing the Sarus at Adana and the Pyramus at Mopsuestia; there it divided, one branch running southeastward by way of Issus to Antioch on the Orontes, while another turned slightly northward to Castabala, and thence ran due East to the passage of the Euphrates at Zeugma. Thus the fertility of its soil, the safety and convenience of its harbor and the command of the main line of communication between Anatolia and Syria or Mesopotamia combined to promote the greatness of Tarsus, though its position was neither a healthful or a strong one and the town had no acropolis.

2. Foundation Legends:

Of the foundation of the city various traditions were current in antiquity, and it is impossible to arrive any certain conclusion, for such foundation legends often reflected the sympathies and wishes of a city’s later population rather than the historic facts of its origin. At Anchiale, about 12 miles Southeast of Tarsus, was a monument commonly known as the tomb of Sardanapalus, king of Assyria, bearing an inscription "in Assyrian letters" stating that that monarch "built Anchiale and Tarsus in a single day" (Strabo xiv. 672; Arrian Anab. ii.5). The statement of Alexander Polyhistor, preserved by Eusebius (Chron. i, p. 27, ed Schoene), that Sennacherib, king of Nineveh (705-681 BC), rounded the city, also ascribes to it an Assyrian origin.

On the other hand, the Greeks had their own traditions, claiming Tarsus as a Greek or semi-Gr foundation. Strabo says that it owed its rise to the Argives who with Triptolemus wandered in search of Io (xiv.673), while others spoke of Heracles or Perseus as the founder. It must be admitted that these tales, taken by themselves, give us little aid.

3. Tarsus under Oriental Power:

Ramsay believes that Tarsus existed from time immemorial as a native Cilician settlement, to which was added, at some early date unknown to us, a body of Ionians, which migrated from the western coast of Asia Minor under the auspices and direction of the oracle of Clarian Apollo near Colophon. The earliest historical record of the town is found on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser, about 850 BC, where it figures among the places captured by that king. It is thus proved that Tarsus already existed at that remote date. For many centuries it remained an oriental rather than a Hellenic city, and its history is almost a blank. After the fall of the Assyrian empire, Cilicia may have regained its independence, at least partially, but it subsequently became a province of the Persian empire, paying to the Great King an annual tribute of 260 white horses and 500 talents of silver (Herodotus iii.90) and contributing considerable fleets, when required, to the Persian navy. From time to time we hear of rulers named Syennesis, who appear to have been vassal princes in a greater or less degree of dependence upon the oriental empires. Two clear glimpses of the city are afforded us, thanks to the passage through it of Hellenic troops engaged upon eastern expeditions. Xenophon (Anab. i.2, 21 ff) tells how, in 40l BC, Cyrus the Younger entered Cilicia on his famous march against his brother Artaxerxes, and how some of his Greek mercenaries plundered Tarsus, which is described as a great and prosperous city, in which was the palace of King Syennesis. The king made an agreement with Cyrus, who, after a delay of 20 days, caused by the refusal of his troops to march farther, set out from Tarsus for the Euphrates. Again, in 333 BC, Alexander the Great passed through the Cilician Gates on his way to Issus, where he met and routed the Persian army under Darius III. Arsames, the satrap of Cilicia, failed to post a sufficient force at the pass, the garrison fled without resistance and Alexander thus entered the province without striking a blow. The Persians thereupon set fire to Tarsus, but the timely arrival of the Macedonian advance guard under Parmenio saved the city from destruction. A bath in the cold waters of the Cydnus which Alexander took while heated with his rapid advance brought on a fever which all but cost him his life (Arrian Anab. ii.4; Q. Curtius Hist. Alex. iii.4 f) For two centuries Tarsus had been the capital of a Persian satrapy, subject to oriental rather than to Hellenic influence, though there was probably a Hellenic element in its population, and its trade brought it into touch with the Greeks. The Cilician coins struck at Tarsus confirm this view. Down to Alexander’s conquest, they ordinarily bear Aramaic legends, and many of them show the effigy of Baal Tarz, the Lord of Tarsus; yet, these coins are clearly influenced by Greek types and workmanship.

4. Tarsus under Greek Sway:

Alexander’s overthrow of the Persian power brought about a strong Hellenic reaction in Southeastern Asia Minor and must have strengthened the Greek element in Tarsus, but more than a century and a half were to elapse before the city attained that civic autonomy which was the ideal and the boast of the Greek polis. After Alexander’s death in 323 BC his vast empire was soon dismembered by the rivalries and wars of his powerful generals. Cilicia ultimately fell under the rule of the Seleucid kings of Syria, whose capital was Antioch on the Orontes. Though Greeks, they inherited certain features of the old Persian policy and methods of rule; Cilicia was probably governed by a satrap, and there was no development within it of free city life. Early in the 2nd century, however, came a change. Antiochus III, defeated by the Romans in the battle of Magnesia (190 BC), was forced to evacuate most of his possessions in Asia Minor. Cilicia thus became a frontier province and gained greatly in importance. The outcome was the reorganization of Tarsus as an autonomous city with a coinage of its own, which took place under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164), probably in 171 BC. It is at this time that Tarsus is first mentioned in the Bible, unless we are to accept the disputed identification with TARSHISH (which see). In 2 Macc 4:30 f we read that, about 171 "it came to pass that they of Tarsus and Mallus made insurrection, because they were to be given as a present to Antiochis, the king’s concubine. The king therefore came to Cilicia in all haste to settle matters." That this settlement took the form of a compromise and the grant to Tarsus of at least a municipal independence we may infer from the fact that Tarsus struck its own coins from this reign onward. At first they bear the name of Antioch on the Cydnus, but from the death of Antiochus this new appellation falls into disuse and the old name reasserts itself. But it is almost certain that, in accordance with Seleucid policy, this reorganization was accompanied by the enlargement of the citizen body, the new citizens in this case consisting probably of Jews and Argive Greeks. From this time Tarsus is a city of Hellenic constitution, and its coins no longer bear Aramaic but Greek legends. Yet it must be remembered that there was still a large, perhaps a preponderating, native and oriental element in the population, while the coin types in many cases point to the continued popularity of non-Hellenic cults.

5. Tarsus in the Roman Empire:

About 104 BC part of Cilicia became a Hem province, and after the Mithridatic Wars, during which Tarsus fell temporarily into the hands of Tigranes of Armenia, Pompey the Great reorganized the eastern portion of the Hem Empire (64-63 BC), and Tarsus became the capital of a new and enlarged province, administered by Hem governors who usually held office for a single year. Thus we find Cicero in command of Cilicia from the summer of 51 BC to the summer of the following year, and though he expressly mentions Tarsus only rarely in his extant letters of this period (e.g. Ad Art. v.20,3; Ad Faro. ii.17,1), yet there is reason to believe that he resided there during part of his year of office. Julius Caesar passed through the city in 47 BC on his march from Egypt to Pontus, and was enthusiastically received. In his honor the name Tarsus was changed to Juliopolis, but this proved no more lasting than Antioch on the Cydnus had been. Cassius temporarily overawed it and imposed on it a crushing fine, but, after the overthrow of the republican cause at Philippi and the assignment of the East to Antony’s administration, Tarsus received the position of an independent and duty-free state (civitas libera et immunis) and became for some time Antony’s place of residence. This privileged status was confirmed by Augustus after the victory of Actium had made him sole master of the Roman Empire (31 BC). It did not by itself bestow Roman citizenship on the Tarsinas, but doubtless there were many natives of the city to whom Pompey, Caesar, Antony and Augustus granted that honor for themselves and, as a consequence, for their descendants.

6. The University:

It is under the rule of Augustus that our knowledge of Tarsus first becomes fairly full and precise, Strabo, writing about 19 AD, tells us (xiv.673 ff) of the enthusiasm of its inhabitants for learning, and especially for philosophy. In this respect, he says, Tarsus surpasses Athens and Alexandria and every other university town. It was characterized by the fact that the student body was composed almost entirely of natives, who, after finishing their course, usually went abroad to complete their education and in most cases did not return home, whereas in most universities the students were to a large extent foreigners, and the natives showed no great love of learning. Alexandria, however, formed an exception, attracting a large number of foreign students and also sending out many of its younger citizens to other centers. In fact, adds Strabo, Rome is full of Tarsians and Alexandrians. Among the famous men who learned or taught at Tarsus, we hear of the Stoics Antipater, Archedemus, Nestor, Athenodorus surnamed Cordylion, the friend and companion of the younger Marcus Cato, and his more famous namesake (called Canaanites after the village of his birth), who was the tutor and confidant of Augustus, and who subsequently reformed the Tarsian constitution. Other philosophers of Tarsus were Nestor, a representative of the Academy, and tutor of Marcellus, Augustus’ nephew and destined successor, and of Tiberius, Plutiades and Diogenes; the latter was also famous as an improvisatore, and indeed the Tarsians in general were famed for their ease and fluency in impromptu speaking. Artemidorus and Diodorus the grammarians and Dionysides the tragic poet, a member of the group of seven writers known as "the Pleiad," complete Strabo’s list of eminent Tarsians. A less attractive view of the life in Tarsus is given by Philostratus in his biography of Apollonius of Tyana, who went there to study in the early part of Tiberius’ reign (14-37 AD). So disgusted was he by the insolence of the citizens, their love of pleasure and their extravagance in dress, that he shook the dust of Tarsus off his feet and went to Aegae to pursue his studies in a more congenial atmosphere (Vit. Apollon. i.7). But Strabo’s testimony is that of a contemporary and an accurate historian and must outweigh that of Philostratus, whose work is largely tinged with romance and belongs to the early years of the 3rd century AD.

7. The Tarsian Constitution:

Strabo also tells us something of an important constitutional reform carried out in Tarsus under the Emperor Augustus, probably about 15-10 BC. Athenodorus Canaanites, the Stoic, returned to his city as an old man, after some 30 years spent at Rome, armed with authority from the emperor to reform abuses in its civic life. He found the constitution a democracy, swayed and preyed upon by a corrupt clique headed by a certain Boethus, "bad poet and bad citizen," who owed his position partly to his ready and persuasive tongue, partly to the favor of Antony, whom he had pleased by a poem composed to celebrate the victory of Philippi. Athenodorus sought at first to mend matters by argument and persuasion, but, finding Boethus and his party obdurate, he at length exercised his extraordinary powers, banished the offenders and remodeled the constitution, probably in a timocratic mold, restricting the full citizenship to those possessed of a considerable property qualification. On his death, his place as head of the state was taken for a while by the academic philosopher Nestor (Strabo xiv.674 f). Next to Strabo’s account our most valuable source of information regarding Tarsus is to be found in the two orations of Dio Chrysostom addressed to the Tarsians about 110 AD (Orat. xxxiii, xxxiv; see Jour. Hell. Studies, XXIV, 58 ff). Though admitting that the city was an Argive colony, he emphasized its non-Hellenic character, and, while criticizing much in its institutions and manners, found but a single feature to commend, the strictness with which the Tarsian women were veiled whenever they appeared in public.

8. Paul of Tarsus:

Such was Tarsus, in which Paul was born (Ac 22:3) and of which he was a citizen (Ac 9:11; 21:39). Its ancient traditions and its present greatness explain and justify the pride with which he claimed to be "a citizen of no mean city" (Ac 21:39). It is probable that his forefathers had been among the Jews settled at Tarsus by Antiochus Epiphanes, who, without sacrificing nationality or religion, became citizens of a community organized after the Greek model. On what occasion and for what service Roman civitas had been conferred on one of Paul’s ancestors we cannot say; this only we know, that before his birth his father had possessed the coveted privilege (Ac 22:28). It is a fascinating, but an elusive, quest to trace in Paul’s life and writings the influence of his Tarsian ancestry, birth and early life. Jerome, it is true, claims that many Pauline words and phrases were characteristic of Cilicia, and some modern scholars profess to find traces, in the apostle’s rhetoric and in his attitude toward pagan religion and secular learning, of Tarsian influence. But such speculations are likely to be misleading, and it is perhaps best to admit that, save in the trade learned by Paul, which was characteristic of his birthplace, we cannot with any precision gauge the effects of his early surroundings. At the same time it is certain that the character of his native city, its strong oriental element, its Greek constitution and speech, its position in the Roman Empire, its devotion to learning, must have made an impression upon one who, uniting Jewish nationality with membership of a Greek state and Roman citizenship, was to be the great interpreter to the Greco-Roman world of a religion which sprang from the soil of Judaism. How long Paul remained at Tarsus before beginning his studies in Jerusalem we cannot say. His own declaration that he was "born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city" (Ac 22:3) seems to show that his training at Jerusalem began at an early age, and is inconsistent with the supposition that he was one of those Tarsian students who, after studying at their native university, completed their education abroad. During his first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion, plots were formed against his life, and he was induced to return to Tarsus (Ac 9:30), where, according to Ramsay’s chronology, he remained for some 8 years. Thither Barnabas went to seek him when he felt the need of a helper in dealing with the new problems involved in the growth of the Antiochene church and the admission into it of Gentiles in considerable numbers (Ac 11:25). Tarsus is not again mentioned in the New Testament, but Paul doubtless revisited it on his second missionary journey, when he "went through Syria and Cilicia" (Ac 15:41), and traveled thence by way of the Cilician Gates into Lycaonia, and again at the beginning of his third journey when, after some time spent at Antioch, "he departed, and went through the region of Galatia, and Phrygia, in order" (Ac 18:23).

9. Later History:

This is not the place to discuss in detail the later history of Tarsus, many passages of which are obscure and difficult. It remained a focus of imperial loyalty, as is indicated by the names Hadriane, Commodiane, Severiane and others, which appear, isolated or conjoined, upon its coins, together with the title of metropolis and such epithets as "first," "greatest," "fairest." Indeed it was chiefly in the matter of such distinctions that it carried on a keen, and sometimes bitter, rivalry, first with Mallus and Adana, its neighbors in the western plain, and later with Anazarbus, the chief town of Eastern Cilicia. But Tarsus remained the capital of the district, which during the 1st century of the empire was united with Syria in a single imperial province, and when Cilicia was made a separate province Tarsus, as a matter of course, became its metropolis and the center of the provincial Caesar-worship, and, at a later date, the capital of "the three Eparchiae,"cilicia, Isauria and Lycaonia. Toward the close of the 4th century Cilicia was divided into two, and Tarsus became the capital of Cilicia Prima only. Soon after the middle of the 7th century it was captured by the Arabs, and for the next three centuries was occupied by them as their northwestern capital and base of operations against the Anatolian plateau and the Byzantine empire. In 965 it was recaptured, together with the rest of Cilicia, by the emperor Nicephorus Phocas, but toward the close of the following century it fell into the hands of the Turks and afterward of the Crusaders. It was subsequently ruled by Armenian princes as part of the kingdom of Lesser Armenia, and then by the Memluk sultans of Egypt, from whom it was finally wrested by the Ottoman Turks early in the 16th century. The modern town, which still bears the ancient name in the slightly modified form Tersous, has a very mixed population, numbering about 25,000, and considerable trade, but suffers from its unhealthful situation and the proximity of large marshy tracts. Few traces of its ancient greatness survive, the most considerable of them being the vast substructure of a Greco-Roman temple, known locally as the tomb of Sardanapalus (R. Koldewey in C. Robert, Aus der Anomia, 178 ff).


The best account of Tarsus will be found in W. M. Ramsay, The Cities of Paul (London, 1907), 85-244; the same writer’s articles on "Cilicia, Tarsus and the Great Taurus Pass" in the Geographical Journal, 1903, 357 ff, and on "Tarsus" in HDB should also be consulted, as well as H. Bohlig, Die Geisteskultur yon Tarsos im augusteischen Zeitalter (Gottingen, 1913). For inscriptions see LeBas-Waddington, Voyage archeologique, III, numbers 1476 ff; Inscr. Graec. ad res Roman. pertinetes, III, 876 ff. For coins, B. V. Head, Historia Numorum2, 729 ff; G. F. Hill, British Museum Catalogue of Coins: Lycaonia, Isauria and Cilicia, lxxvi ff, 162 ff.

M. N. Top


tar’-tak (tartaq): In 2Ki 17:31 mentioned as the name of an idol of the Avvites, one of the peoples sent by Shalmaneser to the cities of Samaria. It is otherwise unknown.


tar’-tan (tartan): For a long time the word was interpreted as a proper name, but the Assyrian inscriptions have shown it to be the title of a high official. From the eponym lists it would seem that it was the title of the highest official next to the king, which in a military empire like Assyria would be the "commander-in-chief." The Assyrian form of the name is tartanu or turtanu. In both Old Testament passages the reference is to a military officer. In Isa 20:1 it is used of the officer sent by Sargon, king of Assyria, against Ashdod; according to 2Ki 18:17, Sennacherib sent Tartan and RAB-SARIS (which see) and RABSHAKEH (which see) with a great host against Jerusalem. The names of the-two officials are not known.

F. C. Eiselen


task’-mas-ter. (sar mac, "chief of the burden" or "levy" (Ex 1:11); noghes, "distress," "driver," "oppressor," "raiser of taxes," "taskmaster" (Ex 3:7; 5:6,10,13,14)): Officials of this class seem to have been officially appointed by Pharaoh for the purpose of oppressing the Israelites and subduing their spirits, lest they seek complete independence or organize a rebellion against the government (Ex 1:11). The condition of the Israelites at this time became one of complete vassalage or slavery, probably owing to the fact that the Hyksos were driven out and a new dynasty was established, which knew nothing of Joseph and his people.SARIS">RAB-SARIS /Jl(which see) and Jl:jump,"rabshakeh"rabshakeh /Jl(which see) with a great host against Jerusalem. The names of the-two officials are not known.

Frank E. Hirsch


tas’-’l (tsitsith): This word occurs only in Nu 15:38 (Revised Version margin), which reads "tassels in the corners" for "fringes in the borders of their garments" (the King James Version).

It is probable that the dress of the Palestinian peasant has undergone little change in the centuries since the occupation of the land by the Hebrews. His outer garment, worn for protection against cold and rain, is the simlah of Ex 22:26, now known as ‘abayah by the Arabs. It is a square cloak, with unsewn spaces for armholes, and is composed of either three or four widths of woven stuff. The outer strips of the stuff, folded back and sewn at the upper edges, form shoulder-straps. It was to such a garment as this that the injunctions of Nu 15:37-41 and of De 22:12 applied.


W. Shaw Caldecott


tast (Hebrew Ta‘am, "the sense of taste," "perception," from Ta‘am, "to taste," "to perceive"; Aramaic Te‘em, "flavor," "taste" (of a thing); Hebrew chekh, "palate," "roof of the mouth" =" taste"; geuomai; noun geusis; in 2 Macc 7:1 the verb is ephaptomai):

(1) Literal:

(a) Gustation, to try by the tongue: "The taste (ta‘am) of it manna was like wafers made with honey" (Ex 16:31); "Doth not the ear try words, even as the palate (chekh) tasteth (Ta‘am) its food?" (Job 12:11); "Belshazzar, while he tasted (literally, "at the taste of," Te‘em) the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, might drink therefrom" (Da 5:2).

(b) "To sample," "to eat but a small morsel": "I did certainly taste (Ta‘am) a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand; and, lo, I must die" (1Sa 14:43).

(2) Figurative:

"To experience," "to perceive": "Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good" (Ps 34:8; compare 1Pe 2:3); "How sweet are thy words unto my taste!" (margin "palate," chekh) (Ps 119:103); "That by the grace of God he should taste of death for every man" (Heb 2:9); "For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come .... "( Heb 6:4,5).

H. L. E. Luering


tat’-e-ni (tattenay, various forms in the Septuagint; the King James Version Tatnai, tat’ni, tat’na-i’): A Persian governor, who was the successor of Rehum in Samaria and some other provinces belonging to Judah, bordering on Samaria. He governed the provinces during the reign of Darius Hystaspis and Zerubbabel (Ezr 5:3,6; 6:6,13). He was friendly to the Jews, and when he heard adverse reports from Jerusalem he suspended judgment till he had investigated the matter on the ground, and then reported to the Persian government in a very moderate manner. In 1 Esdras 6:3,7,27; 7:1 he is called "Sisinnes."

S. L. Umbach


tat’-ler: Only in 1Ti 5:13 for phluaros. A "silly talker," rather than a "revealer of secrets," is meant.

TAV tav.

See TAW.


tav’-ernz: Three Taverns (Latin Tres Tabernae, Greek transliterates treis tabernai; Cicero Ad Att. i.13; ii.12, 13) was a station on the Appian Road at the 33rd milestone (301/3 English miles from Rome), according to the Itineraries of the Roman Empire (Itin. Ant. vii; Tab. Peut.; Geogr. Rav. iv.34), a converging point of traffic at the crossing of a road from Antium to Norba. Tripontium, 6 miles down the Appian Road in the direction of Appii Forum, was reckoned as the point where the highway entered the region of the Pontiac marshes, the most notable natural feature of this part of Italy.

Parties of the Christian brethren in Rome went out to greet the apostle Paul when news was brought that he had arrived at Puteoli, one group proceeding as far as Appii Forum, while another awaited his coming at Three Taverns (Ac 28:15).

George H. Allen


tau ("t", "th"): The 22nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet; transliterated in this Encyclopedia with the daghesh as "t", and as "th" without. It came also to be used for the number 400. For name, etc., see ALPHABET.



taks, taks’-ing:


1. General Considerations

2. Limits of the Discussion


1. In the Earliest Period

2. Under the Theocracy; in the Period of the Judges

3. Under the Kings


1. Under the Assyrians and Babylonians

2. Under the Persians

3. Under the Ptolemies and Seleucid Kings

4. Under the Romans

I. Introduction.

1. General Considerations:

Taxation, in the sense of regular, graduated imposts levied by authority upon wealth, whether in the form of flocks and herds, tilled lands or accumulated treasure, is a comparatively late product of social evolution. The beginnings of this trouble-breeding institution are, of course, very ancient. If in the beginning all wealth was common wealth, all property vested in the family or tribe, making any kind of levies unnecessary, with the rise of individualism, the prorata setting aside, for common uses, of certain possessions held as private property by individuals, which is the essence of taxation, is inevitable. With the advent of more advanced civilization, by which is meant fixed residence, systematic use and cultivation of defined and limited territory, established political organization centering in rulers of one kind or another, regular taxation must necessarily have begun. Throughout history the burden of taxation has kept pace with the elaboration of the machinery of government; kings, courts, ceremonials, legislative and judicial administration, wars, diplomacy—all these institutions spell expense and, consequently, taxation. In a very real sense, the history of taxation is the history of civilization.

2. Limits of the Discussion:

In following the history of taxation in the Bible, two lines of development are to be noted: Israel’s internal history when left to herself, and her experiences as tributary to successive conquerors. These two lines of experience form the main divisions of this article. We shall confine ourselves so far as possible to the civil aspects of the subject, leaving for others those interesting problems of taxation connected with the origin and development of the priestly legislation.

See TITHE etc.

II. Taxes in Israel under Self-Government.

In the first glimpses of the ancestors of the Hebrew people given us in the Bible, no such institution as taxation appears.

1. In the Earliest Period:

Like all primitive communities, the nomadic Hebrews had no regular system of taxation nor use for any. Voluntary presents were given by the less to the more powerful in return for protection or other advantages. These are really ominous words, for even as late as the United Kingdom, when, of a certainty, the voluntary element had long since gone out the royal income was spoken of, with perhaps unconscious irony as "presents" (1Sa 10:27; 1Ki 4:21; 10:25). One great tap-root of the whole after-development of systematic taxation is to be found in this primitive custom of giving presents (Ge 32:13-21; 33:10; 43:11). The transition is so fatally easy from presents voluntarily given to those which are expected and finally to those which are demanded (2Ki 16:8; compare 17:4, where the King James Version has "presents").

The first evidence of what corresponds to compulsory taxation discoverable in the Bible is in connection with the conquered Canaanites who were compelled to serve under tribute, that is, to render forced labor (Jos 16:10; 17:13; Jud 1:28-35). In the early custom of making presents to the powerful and in the exactions laid upon conquered peoples, with the necessary public expense of community life as the natural basis, we have the main sources of what grew to be institutional taxation.

2. Under the Theocracy; in the Period of the Judges:

The only fixed impost under theocracy which has a semi-civil character was the so-called "atonement money" (Ex 30:11-16), really a poll-tax amounting to a half-shekel for each enrolled male member of the community above 20 years of age. The proceeds of this tax were to be used for the service of the Tent of Meeting (see TABERNACLE). It seems to have been levied by the authorities and accepted by the people whenever faithfulness to the ordinances of Yahweh was the order of the day (2Ch 24:4-14; Ne 10:32; note here the emphasis laid upon the offering as voluntary, and the variation in amount from one-half to one-third shekel). In later times this tax was devoted to the service of the temple, and was paid by Jews at a distance during the Dispersion. Josephus speaks of the large amounts accruing to the temple-treasury from this source (Ant., XIV, vii, 2). It was still collected as the distinctive temple-tax levied upon the citizen as such (Mt 17:24). It is interesting to note that Jesus paid it under protest and with one of the most distinctive of His miracles, on the ground of His being the founder and head of a new temple, and hence, not subject to the impost which was the badge of citizenship in the old order.

The period of the Judges was too disorganized and chaotic to exhibit many of the characteristics of a settled mode of procedure. As far as we know the only source of public moneys was the giving of presents. If the action of Gideon (Jud 8:24) is to be taken as indicating the ordinary policy of the period, the judges received nothing. more than a share of the spoil taken in battle. The account emphasizes, evidently with purpose, the fact that Gideon proffers a request (Jud 8:24), and that the people respond freely and gladly.

3. Under the Kings:

As was to be expected, taxation assumes far greater prominence the moment we cross the threshold of the kingdom. 1Sa 8:10-18 is equally significant for our purpose whether it was, as appears on the face of the narrative, the actual words of warning uttered by Samuel in view of the well-known attitude of kings in general, or a later recension from the viewpoint of experience. In either case, the passage gives us a fairly exhaustive list of royal prerogatives. Aside from various forms of public and private service, the king would take (note the word) the best of the vineyards, etc., together with a tenth of the seed and of the flocks. The underlying principle, suggested by Samuel’s summary and fully exemplified in the actions of Israel’s kings, is that the king would take what he needed for his public and private needs from the strength and substance of his people. Constitutional laws regulating the expenditure of public funds and the amount of exactions from the people in taxation seem never to have been contemplated in these early monarchies. The king took what he could get; the, people gave what they could not hold back. The long battle for constitutional rights has centered from the beginning about the matter of taxation.

In 1Sa 10:27 (compare 2Ch 17:5) the case cited of worthless fellows who brought Saul no present clearly shows that fealty to the new king was expressed in the giving of presents. The refusal to make these so-called presents was an act of constructive treason, so interpreted by the writer, who mentions Saul’s silence in the premises as something notable. It is evident that the word "present" has become euphemistic. In 1Sa 17:25 exemption from taxation is specifically mentioned, together with wealth and marriage into the royal family, as one element in the reward to be obtained for ridding Israel of the menace of Goliath.

In David’s time an unbroken series of victories in war so enriched the public treasury (see 2Sa 8:2,7,8) that we hear little of complaints of excessive taxation. If David’s census was for fiscal purposes (2Sa 24:2), we can understand why he was so severely dealt with for it, but the matter is still obscure. David’s habit of dedicating spoil to Yahweh (2Sa 8:10-12) kept the sacred treasury well supplied. Solomon undoubtedly inherited David’s scale of public expense (1Ch 27:25-31) and added to it through his well-developed love of luxury and power. At the same time the cessation of war made the development of internal resources for carrying on his ambitious schemes imperative. The boundaries of his kingdom are specified (1Ki 4:21 (Hebrew 5:1)) together with the amount of his income (1Ki 10:14,28; compare 2Ki 3:4). It is also stated that other kingdoms paid tribute to him. His system of fiscal administration was very thoroughly organized. He put the whole country under twelve officers (to specify one feature) whose business was to provide, by months, provisions for the court (1Ki 4:7-19). Under Solomon also, for the first time, so far as we know, Israelites were compelled to render forced labor (1Ki 5:13-17). By the end of his reign the burden of taxation had become so severe that in the public address made to Rehoboam the people demanded a lightening of the "grievous service" of Solomon as the condition of their fealty to his successor. Rehoboam’s foolish answer of defiance precipitated the separation of the tribes which proved in the end so disastrous. During the period of prophetic activity which follows, one recurring specification in the denunciations uttered by the prophets against the kings was the excessive burden of taxation imposed upon the people. Amos speaks of "exactions of wheat taken from the poor" (5:11; compare 2:6-8). In 7:1 he incidentally refers to a custom which has grown up of rendering to the king the first mowings of grass. Isaiah speaks of eating up the vineyards and taking the spoil of the poor (3:14). Micah, with even greater severity, denounces rulers "who eat the flesh of my people" (3:1-4). These citations are sufficient to show that all through the later monarchy the Israelites suffered more or less from official rapacity and injustice.

III. Taxes in Israel under Conquerors.

1. Under the Assyrians and Babylonians: During the reign of Menahem, who-succeeded Jeroboam II as king of Israel, the Assyrian invasion under Tiglath-pileser III (Biblical "Pul," 2Ki 15:19) began. The one act of Menahem (aside from his general sinfulness) which is specified in 2Ki 15:17-22, the remainder of his unedifying career being left to the Chronicles of the kings of Israel, is that he bought off the Assyrian conqueror by a tribute of a thousand talents which he obtained by mulcting men of wealth in his kingdom to the extent of fifty talents each. A little later, Ahaz of Judah sent a present to the same ruler. He took the novel method of robbing the temple-treasury and adding the sum thus gained to the accumulations at hand in the royal treasury. Both these kings were somewhat original in their methods. Hoshea of Israel, a contemporary of Ahaz, was reduced to tribute; later, upon his neglect to pay, he was put in prison (2Ki 17:4). A little later still, Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, was deposed by Pharaoh-necoh, who placed a tribute upon the land of a hundred talents of silver and one of gold (2Ki 23:31-33). Jehoiakim, the puppet king, raised this tribute by a special tax upon the people (2Ki 23:34,35). This latter passage is especially interesting because it seems to indicate (2Ki 23:35 f) a graduated system of taxation supposedly honored more often in the breach than in the observance. This same unfortunate Jehoiakim came under the heavy hand of Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 24:1-7). This latter ruler seems not to have levied a special tribute, at least it is not mentioned; but reimbursed himself for the expenses of conquest by carrying away to Babylon the vessels of the temple (2Ch 36:7).

2. Under the Persians:

In Ezr 4:13, a part of a letter addressed to Artaxerxes by officials "west of the river" (see whole passage Ezr 4:7-24) who were hostile to the Jews, it is charged that in the event of rebuilding the city the inhabitants would not pay "tribute, custom, or toll." These three words, which are evidently combined in a formula and indicate three distinct classes of taxes, are interesting as being characteristic of the Persian period.

The three words are:

(1) middah =" tribute" (Ezr 4:13,10; compare Ne 5:4, where the expression is "king’s tribute");

(2) belo = according to Gesenius under the word: "tax on articles consumed" or "excise". (HDB "impost") (Ezr 4:13,10; 7:24);

(3) halakh =" road-toll" or "custom tax" (Ezr 4:13,10; 7:24).

These Assyrian words are to be contrasted with the words used elsewhere:

(1) mac =" forced labor" (1Ki 5:13 (Hebrew 5:27); compare ut sup. Jos 16:10; 17:13; Jud 1:28,30,33,35; De 20:11; Es 10:1);

(2) massa’ =" burden" (2Ch 17:11);

(3) mekhec =" measure," used of tribute exacted for Yahweh, taken from people, cattle, and spoil, etc. (Nu 31:25-31).

From this enumeration and comparison it will be seen that the Hebrew had no general word corresponding to the English word "tax."

To return to the situation in the Persian period, it is evident that the Persian rulers exacted practically the same classified tributes, direct and indirect, that are found elsewhere. It is recorded that Artaxerxes, in response to the letter of his officers in Palestine (Ezr 4:21), stopped the work of the rebuilding of Jerusalem in anticipation of the refusal of the Jewish leaders to pay taxes. The work was resumed in the 2nd year of Darius under the protection of a royal decree which gave to the Jewish authorities a sufficient amount from the "tribute beyond the river" to finish without delay.

Artaxerxes, in addition to his generous gifts, exempted the priests and temple-servants from all taxation (Ezr 7:24). In the days of Nehemiah a serious condition arose. The king’s tribute was so heavy that the Jewish common people were compelled to borrow money upon mortgages, and in so doing fell into the hands of usurers of their own people, by whom they were so impoverished as to be compelled to sell their sons and daughters into slavery (Ne 5:1-13). In addition to the royal tribute, they were forced to support the governors who were entitled to bread, wine and forty shekels of silver annually (Ne 5:14,15). In the prayer offered on the fast day (Ne 9) it was asserted that their burdens of taxation were so heavy that they were servants in their own land (Ne 9:36,37).

3. Under the Ptolemies and Seleucid Kings:

The Ptolemies, who practically controlled Palestine from 301 to 218 BC, do not appear to have been excessive in their demands for tribute (twenty talents for Jews (Ant., XII, iv, 1) seems no great amount), but the custom which they introduced, or at least established, of farming the taxes to the highest bidder, introduced a principle which prevailed through all the subsequent history and was the cause of much popular suffering and discontent. The story of Joseph, the Jewis tax-collector (Ant., XII, iv, 1-5), who was for 23 years farmer-general of taxes for Palestine under Ptolemy Euergetes, and the cause of "a long train of disasters" is peculiarly significant for the student of the New Testament.

The conquest of Palestine by Antiochus the Great (202 BC) brought a certain amount of relief to the "storm-tossed" (Josephus) Jews of Palestine, as of old the buffer state between contending powers. According to Josephus (Ant., XII, iii, 3), Antiochus gave the Jews generous gifts in money, remitted their taxes for three years, and permanently reduced them one-third (see Kent’s discussion of the credibility of these statements, Historical Series for Bible Students, Babylonian, Persian, Greek Periods, 296).

That the Selucid kings were particularly severe in their exactions is clearly shown in the letter of Demetrius to the Jews, whose favor he was seeking in rivalry with Alexander Balas of Smyrna, the pretender to the Selucid throne (see 1 Macc 10:26-30; 11:34,35; 13:39; compare 11:28).

In this quoted letter Demetrius promises the following exemptions:

from (1) "tributes" (phori =" polltaxes");

(2) tax on salt;

(3) crown taxes (stephanoi =" crowns of gold" or their equivalents);

(4) the tribute of one-third of the seed;

(5) another of one-half of the fruit of the trees (1 Macc 10:29,30).

This seems almost incredibly severe, but evidence is not lacking of its probability (Lange’s Commentary Apocrypha, edition 1901, 525). With Selcucus IV (187-176 BC) the Jews felt for the first time, indirectly but powerfully, the pressure of Rome. This disreputable ruler had to pay tribute to Rome as well as to find means whereby to gratify his own passion for luxury, and was correspondingly rapacious in the treatment of his subjects (2 Macc 3).

4. Under the Romans:

During the early part of the Heroadian epoch, taxes were paid to the king and collected by officers appointed by him. This method which worked fairly well, at least under Herod the Great, had passed away before any books of the New Testament were written. After the deposition of Archelaus (6 AD), at the request of the Jews themselves, Judea was incorporated into the Roman empire and put under procurators who were in charge of all financial administration, although the tetrarchs still collected the internal taxes. This fact conditions all that is to be said about "tribute" and "publicans" in connection with the New Testament. It is to be noted first of all (a fact that is often overlooked by the student) that in the imperial era the direct taxes were not farmed out, but collected by regular imperial officers in the regular routine of official duty. The customs or tolls levied upon exports and imposts, and upon goods in the hands of merchants passing through the country, were sold to the highest bidders, who were called publicans.

With this distinction clearly in mind we may dismiss the subject of general taxation with the following remarks: First that the taxes in Judea went to the imperial treasury (Mt 22:17; Mr 12:14; Lu 20:22); second that these taxes were very heavy. These two facts explain why the question of paying tribute to Caesar, which our Lord was obliged to meet, was so burning an issue. It touched at once religious and financial interest—a powerful combination. In 7 AD, immediately after the appointment of Coponius as procurator, Quirinius (see Quirinius, New Testament Chronology, etc.) was sent to Judea to take a census (apographe) for the purpose of poll-tax (kensos, phoros, or epikephalaion (Mt 22:17; Mr 12:13,14; Lu 20:20 )). This census was the occasion for the bloody uprising of Judas of Gamala (or Galilee) (Ac 5:37; compare Ant, XVIII, i 1, 6).As a matter of historical faxct this same census was the occasion of the final destruction of the Jewish commonwealth, for the fierce antagonism to Rome which was aroused at that time never died out until it was extingushed in blood, 70 AD.

We are now free to discuss thos matters which center in a general way about the term "publican." According to Stapfer (PTC, 215) this term (telones) is commonly used to cover several grades of minor officials engaged in the customs service. The word was extended in meaning from the publicanus, properly so called, the farmer-general of a province, to his subordinate local officils. The publicans of the New Testament "examined the goods and collected tolls on roads and bridges" (Stapfer, op. cit., 216; compare Mt 9:9). These tolls (Latin, portoria; Greek tele) were collected in Palestine at Caesarea, Capernaum and Jericho (Josephus, BJ, II, xiv, 4). Those collected at Capernaum went into the treasury of Herod Antipas. At Jericho there was a chief publican (architelones), but most of the publicans mentioned in the New Testament were probably subordinate to men higher in authority.

Sufficient cause for the unpopularity of publicans in New Testament times is not far seek. Hatred of paying duties seems to be ingrained in human nature. Customs officials are always unpopular. The method is necessarily inquisitorial. The man who opens one’s boxes and bundles to appraise the value of what one has, is at best a tolerated evil. In Judea, under the Roman system, all circumstances combined to make the publican the object of bitter hatred. He represented and exercised in immediate contact, at a sore spot with individuals, the hatred power of Rome. The tax itself was looked upon as an inherent religious wrong, as well as civil imposition, and by many the payment of it was considered a sinful act of disloyalty to God. The tax-gatherer, if a Jew, was a renegade in the eyes of his patriotic fellows. He paid a fixed sum for the taxes, and received for himself what he could over and above that amount. The ancient and widespread curse of arbitrariness was in the system. The tariff rates were vague and indefinite (see Schurer, HJP, I, ii, 67 f). The collector was thus always under the suspicion of being an extortioner and probably was in most instances. The name was apt to realize itself. The unusual combination in a publican of petty tyrant, renegade and extortioner, made by circumstances almost inevitable, was not conductive to popularity. In the score of instances in the New Testament where publicans are mentioned, their common status, their place in the thought and action of Jesus, their new hope in the gospel are clearly set forth. The instances in which our Lord speaks of them are especially illuminating:

(1) He uses them on the basis of the popular estimate which the disciples undoubtedly shared, to point in genial irony a reproach addressed to His hearers for their low standard of love and forgiveness (Mt 5:46,47).

(2) He uses the term in the current combination in giving directions about excommunicating a persistently unrepentant member of the church (Mt 18:17).

(3) He uses the term in the popular sense in describing the current condemnation of His attitude of social fellowship with them, and constructively accepts the title of "friend of publicans and sinners" (Mt 11:19; Lu 7:34).

(4) Most significant of all, Jesus uses the publican, as He did the Samaritan, in a parable in which the despised outcast shows to advantage in an attitude acceptable to God (Lu 18:9 ).

This parable is reinforced by the statement, made more than once by our Lord, that the readiness to repent shown by the publicans and other outcasts usually found with them was more promising of salvation than the spiritual pride shown by some who were satisfied with themselves (Lu 3:12; compare 7:29; Mt 21:31,32; Lu 15:1). The choice of Levi as a disciple (Mt 10:3, etc.) and the conversion of Zaccheus (Lu 19:8 f), of whom Jesus speaks so beautifully as a son of Abraham (Lu 19:9), justified the characteristic attitude which our Lord adopted toward the despised class, about equally guilty and unfortunate. He did not condone their faults or crimes; neither did He accept the popular verdict that pronounced them unfit for companionship with the good and without hope in the world. According to the teaching and accordant action of jesus, no man or woman is without hope until the messenger of hope has been definitely rejected.

It is fitting, if somewhat dramatic, that a study of taxation—that historic root of bitterness periodically springing up through the ages—should end in comtemplation of Him who spoke to an outcast and guilty tax-collector (Lu 19:10) the wonderful words: "The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost."

Louis Matthews Sweet


tech, tech’-er, tech’-ing:


1. Discipline

2. Law

3. Discernment

4. Wisdom

5. Knowledge

6. Illumination

7. Vision

8. Inspiration

9. Nourishment


1. Instruction

2. Acquisition

3. Presentation

4. Elucidation

5. Exposition

6. Authority

7. Care

8. Supervision


1. In the Home

2. In Public



1. Christ’s Life

2. Apostolic Labors

3. General Considerations

A rich variety of words is employed in the Bible to describe the teaching process. The terms do not so much indicate an office and an official as a function and a service, although both ideas are often expressed or implied.

I. Old Testament Terms.

1. Discipline:

lamadh, "to beat": A very common word for "to teach"; it may have meant "to beat with a rod," "to chastise," and may have originally referred to the striking and goading of beasts by which they were curbed and trained. By a noble evolution the term came to describe the process of disciplining and training men in war, religion and life (Isa 2:3; Ho 10:11; Mic 4:2). As teaching is both a condition and an accompaniment of disciplining, the word often means simply "to teach," "to inform" (2Ch 17:7; Ps 71:17; Pr 5:13). The glory of teaching was its harmony with the will of God, its source in God’s authority, and its purpose to secure spiritual obedience (De 4:5,14; 31:12,13).

2. Law:

yarah, "to cast": The teaching idea from which the law was derived is expressed by a verb which means "to throw," "to cast as an arrow or lot." It is also used of thrusting the hand forth to point out or show clearly (Ge 46:28; Ex 15:25). The original idea is easily changed into an educational conception, since the teacher puts forth new ideas and facts as a sower casts seed into the ground. But the process of teaching was not considered external and mechanical but internal and vital (Ex 35:34,35; 2Ch 6:27). The nominal form is the usual word for law, human and divine, general and specific (De 4:8; Ps 19:8; Pr 1:8). The following are suggestive phrases: "the book of the law" (De 28:61; 2Ki 22:8); "the book of the law of Moses" (Jos 8:31; 2Ki 14:6); "the book of the law of God" (Jos 24:26); "the book of the law of Yahweh" (2Ch 17:9). Thus even in the days of Joshua there was in the possession of the religious teachers a book of the Law of the Lord as given by Moses. This recorded revelation and legislation continued to be the divine norm and ultimate authority for priest, king and people (2Ch 23:11; Ne 8:1-3).

3. Discernment:

bin, "to separate": The word meaning "to separate," "to distinguish," is often used in a causative sense to signify "to teach." The idea of teaching was not an aggregation of facts bodily transferred like merchandise. Real learning followed genuine teaching. This word suggests a sound psychological basis for a good pedagogy. The function of teaching might be exercised with reference to the solution of difficult problems, the interpretation of God’s will, or the manner of a godly life (Da 8:16,26; Ne 8:7-9; Ps 119:34).

4. Wisdom:

sakhal, "to be wise": The verb from which the various nominal forms for "wisdom" are derived means "to look at," "to behold," "to view," and in the causative stem describes the process by which one is enabled to see for himself what had never before entered his physical or intellectual field of consciousness. The noun indicates a wise person or sage whose mission is to instruct others in the ways of the Lord (Pr 16:23; 21:11; and often in the Wisdom literature). In Da 12:3 we read: "They that are wise (margin, "the teachers") shall shine as the brightness of the firmament."

5. Knowledge:

yadha’," to see" (compare oida): This verb literally means "to see" and consequently "to perceive," "to know," "to come to know," and "cause to know or teach." It describes the act of knowing as both progressive and completed. The causative conception signifies achievement in the sphere of instruction. It is used of the interpretation and application by Moses of the principles of the law of God (Ex 18:16,20), of the elucidation of life’s problems by the sages (Pr 9:9; 22:19), and of constant Providential guidance in the way of life (Ps 16:11).

6. Illumination:

zahar, "to shine": This verbal root signifies "to shine," and when applied to the intellectual sphere indicates the function of teaching to be one of illumination. Ignorance is darkness, knowledge is light. Moses was to teach the people statutes and laws, or to enlighten them on the principles and precepts of God’s revelation (Ex 18:20). The service rendered by the teachers—priests, Levites and fathers—sent forth by Jehoshaphat, was one of illumination in the twofold sense of instruction and admonition (2Ch 19:8-10).

7. Vision:

ra’-ah, "to see": The literal meaning of this verb is "to see," and the nominal form is the ancient name for prophet or authoritative teacher who was expected to have a clear vision of spiritual realities, the will of God, the need of man and the way of life (1Sa 9:9; 1Ch 9:22; 2Ch 16:7 f; Isa 30:10).

8. Inspiration;

nabha’," to boil up": The most significant word for "prophet" is derived from the verb which means "to boil up or forth like a fountain," and consequently to pour forth words under the impelling power of the Spirit of God. The Hebrews used the passive forms of the verb because they considered the thoughts and words of the prophets due not to personal ability but to divine influence. The utterances of the prophets were characterized by instruction, admonition, persuasion and prediction (De 18:15-22; Eze 33:1-20).

9. Nourishment:

ra‘ah, "to feed a flock": The name "shepherd," so precious in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, comes from a verb meaning "to feed," hence, to protect and care for out of a sense of devotion, ownership and responsibility. It is employed with reference to civil rulers in their positions of trust (2Sa 5:2; Jer 23:2); with reference to teachers of virtue and wisdom (Pr 10:21; Ec 12:11); and preeminently with reference to God as the great Shepherd of His chosen people (Ps 23:1; Ho 4:16). Eze 34 presents an arraignment of the unfaithful shepherds or civil rulers; Ps 23 reveals Yahweh as the Shepherd of true believers, and Joh 10 shows how religious teachers are shepherds under Jesus the Good Shepherd.

II. New Testament Terms.

Further light is thrown upon religious teaching in Bible times by a brief view of the leading educational terms found in the New Testament.

1. Instruction:

didasko, "to teach": The usual word for "teach" in the New Testament signifies either to hold a discourse with others in order to instruct them, or to deliver a didactic discourse where there may not be direct personal and verbal participation. In the former sense it describes the interlocutory method, the interplay of the ideas and words between pupils and teachers, and in the latter use it refers to the more formal monologues designed especially to give information (Mt 4:23; Mt 5-7; 13:36 f; Joh 6:59; 1Co 4:17; 1Ti 2:12). A teacher is one who performs the function or fills the office of instruction. Ability and fitness for the work are required (Ro 2:20; Heb 5:12). The title refers to Jewish teachers (Joh 1:38), to John the Baptist (Lu 3:12), to Jesus (Joh 3:2; 8:4, and often), to Paul (1Ti 2:7; 2Ti 1:11), and to instructors in the early church (Ac 13:1; Ro 12:7; 1Co 12:28). Teaching, like preaching, was an integral part of the work of an apostle (Mt 28:19; Mr 16:15; Eph 4:1).

2. Acquisition:

manthano, "to learn": The central thought of teaching is causing one to learn. Teaching and learning are not scholastic but dynamic, and imply personal relationship and activity in the acquisition of knowledge (Mt 11:29; 28:19; Ac 14:21). There were three concentric circles of disciples in the time of our Lord: learners, pupils, superficial followers, the multitude (Joh 6:66); the body of believers who accepted Jesus as their Master (Mt 10:42); and the Twelve Disciples whom Jesus also called apostles (Mt 10:2).

3. Presentation:

paratithemi, "to place beside": The presentative idea involved in the teaching process is intimately associated with the principle of adaptation. When it is stated that Christ put forth parables unto the people, the sacred writer employs the figure of placing alongside of, or near one, hence, before him in an accessible position. The food or teaching should be sound, or hygienic, and adapted to the capacity and development of the recipient (Mt 13:24; Mr 8:6; Ac 16:34; 1Co 10:27; 2Ti 4:3; Heb 5:12-14).

4. Elucidation:

diermeneuo, "to interpret": In the walk to Emmaus, Christ explained to the perplexed disciples the Old Testament Scriptures in reference to Himself. The work of interpreter is to make truth clear and to effect the edification of the hearer (Lu 24:27; 1Co 12:30; 14:5,13,17).

5. Exposition:

ektithemi, "to place out": The verb literally means "to set or place out," and signifies to bring out the latent and secret ideas of a literary passage or a system of thought and life. Thus Peter interpreted his vision, Aquila and Priscilla unfolded truth to Apollos, and Paul expounded the gospel in Rome (Ac 11:4; 18:26; 28:23). True teaching is an educational exposition.

6. Authority:

prophetes, "one who speaks for": A prophet was a man who spoke forth a message from God to the people. He might deal with past failures and achievements, present privileges and responsibilities, or future doom and glory. He received his message and authority from God (De 18:15-22; Isa 6). The word refers to Old Testament teachers (Mt 5:12), to John the Baptist (Mt 21:26), to Jesus the Messiah (Ac 3:25), and to special speakers in the Apostolic age (Mt 10:41; Ac 13:1; 1Co 14:29,37).

7. Care:

poimen, "a shepherd": The word for shepherd signifies one who tends a flock, and by analogy a person who gives mental and spiritual nourishment, and guards and supports those under his care (Mt 9:36; Joh 10:2,16; 1Pe 2:25; Eph 4:11). Love is a fundamental prerequisite to the exercise of the shepherding function (Joh 21:15-18). The duties are to be discharged with great diligence and in humble recognition of the gifts and appointment of the Holy Spirit (Ac 20:28).

8. Supervision:

episkopos, "an overseer": The bishop or overseer was to feed and protect the blood-bought church of God (Ac 20:28). Among the various qualifications of the religious overseers was an aptitude for teaching (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:9). The Lord is pre-eminently shepherd and bishop (1Pe 2:25).

III. Old Testament History.

1. In the Home:

In the Jewish home the teaching of the law of the Lord was primarily incumbent upon the parents. The teaching was to be diligent, the conversation religious, and the atmosphere wholesome (De 6:7-9).

2. In Public:

Provision was also made for public instruction the law of God (De 31:12,13). This is a compact summary of early Hebrew teaching in regard to the extent of patronage, the substance of instruction, and the purpose of the process. Samuel the judge and prophet recognized that his duty was fundamentally to pray, to God for his people and to teach the nation "the good and the right way" (1Sa 12:23). The glory and prosperity of Judah under Jehoshaphat were due in large measure to the emphasis he laid upon religious instruction as the basis of national character and stability. His peripatetic Bible school faculty consisted of five princes, nine Levites and two priests who effected a moral and religious transformation, for "they taught in Judah, having the book of the law of Yahweh with them" (2Ch 17:7-9). The most striking illustration we have of public religious instruction in the Old Testament is found in Ne 8. Ezra the priest and scribe was superintendent, and had an ample corps of teachers to instruct the multitude of men, women and children eager to hear. Prayer created a devotional atmosphere. The reading was distinct, the interpretation correct and intelligible. There was real teaching because the people were made to understand and obey the law. In Ne 9 and 10 we have recorded the spiritual, ceremonial, social and civic effects of ancient religious instruction.

IV. Extra-Biblical Teaching.

The captivity gave mighty impulse to teaching. In far-away Babylon the Jews, deprived of the privilege and inspiration of the temple, established the synagogue as an institutional center of worship and instruction. During the latter part of the inter-Biblical period, religious teaching was carried on in the synagogue and attendance was compulsory, education in the Law being considered the fundmental element of national security (Deutsch, Literary Remains, 23; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, I, 230). The Bible text alone was taught those from 5 to 10 years of age, the first lessons being taken from Le (Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, 111). From 10 to 15 years of age the pupil was taught the substance of the Mishna or unwritten tradition, and accorded the privilege of entering into the discussions of the Mishna which constitute the Gemara (Edersheim, op. cit., I, 232). Selections of Scriptures like the shema (De 6:4-9) were made for study, and lesson helps were adapted to the capacity of the pupils (Ginsburg, article "Education" in Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature). The significance of the teaching idea among the Jews is indicated by numerous expressions for school (article "Education," Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature) and the prevalence of the synagogues, there being perhaps 480 in Jerusalem in the time of Christ (Hor. Heb. I, 78). The pupil was not expected to be a passive hearer but an active participant (Ab., vi.6; Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, 115 f). Great emphasis was laid upon audible repetition and exact memory, yet the teacher was culpable if the pupil failed to understand the prescribed lesson (Hamburger, RE, II, 672, 674). The pupil was regarded as the child of his teacher (Sanhedhrin 19), which is a familiar idea in the New Testament. The faithful teacher was considered destined to occupy a high seat among the ancients (Da 12:3). The scribes were secretaries or copyists of the sacred Law, and would thus acquire at least an accurate verbal knowledge of its contents. Quite naturally they would become religious teachers (Ne 8:4). Hence, also their prominence in the New Testament.


Article "Torah," Jewish Encyclopedia (compare the articles "Talmud"and "Education"); Trumbull, Yale Lectures on the Sunday-School, 3-40; Hamburger. See Hauck-Herzog, Realencyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche.

V. New Testament History.

1. Christ’s Life:

In the New Testament we find that Jesus is pre-eminently the teacher, though He was also preacher and healer (Mt 4:23). His Sermon on the Mount was matchless teaching. He opened His mouth and "taught" (Mt 5:2). The titles "teacher," "master," "rabbi" all indicate the most prominent function of His active ministry. Even at the age of 12 years He revealed His wisdom and affinity in the midst of the rabbis or Jewish teachers of the Law in the temple (Lu 2:41 f). In the power of the Spirit He taught so that all recognized His authority (Lu 4:14,15; Mt 7:29). He explained to the disciples in private what He taught the people in public (Mt 13:36). His principles and methods of teaching constitute the standard by which all true pedagogy is measured, and the ideal toward which all subsequent teachers have toiled with only partial success (Mt 7:28,29; Joh 1:49; 3:2; 6:46). In the Commission as recorded in Mt 28:18,19,20 we have the work of Christianity presented in educational terms. We find the supreme authority (28:18), the comprehensive content—the evangelistic, the ceremonial, the educational, the practical (28:19 and 20a), and the inspiring promise (28:20b).

2. Apostolic Labors:

The emphasis laid upon teaching in the Apostolic age is a natural consequence of the need of the people and the commands of Jesus. The practice of the apostles is quite uniform. They preached or proclaimed, but they also expounded. In Jerusalem the converts continued in the apostles’ teaching (Ac 2:42); and daily in the temple and in the homes of the people the teaching was correlated with preaching (Ac 5:42). In Antioch, the center of foreign missionary operations, Paul, Silas, Barnabas and many others taught the word of the Lord (Ac 15:35). In Thessalonica, Paul and Silas for three weeks reasoned with the people out of the Scriptures, opening up the sacred secrets and proving to all candid minds that Jesus was the Messiah (Ac 17:1-3). In Berea, instruction in the synagogue was followed by private study, and as a result many believed in the Lord (Ac 17:10-15). In Athens, Paul discussed and explained the things of the kingdom of God, both in the synagogue 3 times a week and in the market daily (Ac 17:16 f). In Corinth, Paul having been denied the use of the synagogue taught the word of the Lord for a year and a half in the house of Justus, and thus laid the foundation for a great church (Ac 18:1-11). In Ephesus, Paul taught for 2 years in the school of Tyrannus, disputing and persuading the people concerning the kingdom of God (Ac 19:8-10). In Rome, Paul expounded the word, testified to its truth, and persuaded men to accept the gospel (Ac 28:23). His method of work in Rome under trying limitations is described as cordially receiving the people and preaching the kingdom of God, and "teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ" (Ac 28:30,31).

3. General Considerations:

The office of teacher is fundamentally related to the creation of a missionary atmosphere (Ac 13:1). Religious teaching is necessary to the development of Christian character and the highest efficiency in service (1Co 12:4-11,28,29; Eph 4:11,12). The qualification of the pastor is vitally connected with the teaching function of the church. He is to hold the truth, or to be orthodox (Tit 1:9), to apply the truth, or to be practical (Tit 1:9), to study the truth, or to be informed (1Ti 4:13,15), to teach the truth, or to be equipped or able and tactful (2Ti 2:2; 1Ti 3:2), to live the truth, or to be faithful in all things (2Ti 2:2; 1Ti 4:16). The teaching function of Christianity in the 2nd century became strictly official, thereby losing much of its elasticity. A popular manual for the guidance of religious teachers was styled the "Teaching of the Twelve" ‘(see DIDACHE). The writings of the Apostolic Fathers give valuable information in regard to the exercise of the gifts of teaching in the early centuries (Didache xiii.2; xv. 1, 2; Barnabas 18; Ignatius to the Ephesians 31).


Byron H. Dement


See next article.


terz (dim‘ah; dakrua): In the instances recorded in Scripture weeping is more frequently associated with mental distress than with physical pain. Eastern peoples show none of the restraint of emotion in lamentation which is characteristic of modern Occidentals, and there are many records of this manifestation of woe, even among men accustomed to hardships and warfare, such as David and his soldiers. The flow of tears is the evidence of sorrow in prospect of approaching death in Ps 39:12; 2Ki 20:5; Isa 38:5, and of the suffering consequent on oppression (Ec 4:1), or defeat in battle (Isa 16:9), or hopeless remorse, as with Esau (Heb 12:17, probably referring to Ge 27:34). The Psalmist describes his condition of distress metaphorically as feeding on the bread of tears and having tears to drink (Ps 80:5; 42:3). Tears in the figurative sense of anxiety for the future are referred to in Ps 126:5; Mr 9:24 the King James Version, and the tears accompanying penitence in Lu 7:38 (44 the Revised Version margin). Jeremiah is sometimes called the "weeping prophet" on account of his expressive hyperbole in Jer 9:1,18 (see also 14:7; 31:16; La 1:2; 2:11,18 and ten other passages). Conversely the deliverance from grief or anxiety is described as the wiping away of tears (Ps 116:8; Isa 25:8; Re 7:17; 21:4).

The expression in Ps 56:8 in which the Psalmist desires that God should remember his wanderings and his tears has given rise to a curious mistake. There is a paronomasia in the passage as he pleads that God should record his wanderings (Hebrew, nodh) and that his tears should be put into God’s no’-dh (receptacle or bottle). No’dh literally means a leathern or skin bottle, as is evident from Ps 119:83 and Jos 9:4-13. The request is obviously figurative, as there is no evidence that there was even a symbolical collection of tears into a bottle in any Semitic funeral ritual, and there is no foundation whatever for the modern identification of the long, narrow perfume jars so frequently found in late Jewish and Greek-Jewish graves, as "lachrymatories" or tear bottles.


Alexander Macalister


tet (shadh (Isa 32:12), dadh (Eze 23:3,11)): In all these passages the Revised Version (British and American) has replaced the word by "breast" or "bosom," both of which occasionally stand in poetical parallelism. The above passages in Ezekiel are to be understood figuratively of the inclination of Israel to connive at, and take part in, the idolatry of their neighbors. To "smite upon the breasts" (Isa 32:12, where the King James Version translates wrongly "lament for the teats") means "to mourn and grieve in the ostentatious way of oriental women."

See PAP.


te’-ba (tebhach): A son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham (Ge 22:24).


teb-a-li’-a, te-bal’-ya (Tebhalyahu, "Yahweh hath dipped," i.e. "purified"; Codex Vaticanus Tablai; Codex Alexandrinus Tabelias; Lucian, Tabeel): A Merarite gatekeeper. (1Ch 26:11). The name should perhaps read Tobhiyahu, "Yahweh is good" (possibly from t-w-b-y-h-w misread Tebhalyahu).



te-beth’, te’-beth (tebheth): The tenth month of the Jewish year, corresponding to January (Es 2:16).






te-hin’-a (techinnah, "supplication"; Codex Vaticanus Thaiman; Codex Alexandrinus Thana; Lucian, Theenna): "The father of the city Nahash" (1Ch 4:12). The verse seems to refer to some post-exilic Jewish settlement, but is utterly obscure.


tel the King James Version Isa 6:13 = the Revised Version (British and American) TEREBINTH (which see).


te’-kel (teqel).



te-ko’-a (teqoa’, or teqo‘ah; Thekoe; the King James Version Tekoah; one of David’s mighty men, "Ira the son of Ikkesh," is called a Tekoite, te-ko’-it (teqo‘i; 2Sa 23:26; 1Ch 11:28; 27:9; the "woman of Tekoa" [2Sa 14:2] is in Hebrew teqo‘ith; in Ne 3:5 mention is made of certain Tekoites, te-ko’its teqo’im, who repaired part of the walls of Jerusalem):

1. Scripture References:

From here came the "wise woman" brought by Joab to try and make a reconciliation between David and Absalom (2Sa 14:2 f); it was one of the cities fortified by Rehoboam (2Ch 11:6; Josephus, Ant, VIII, ix, 1). The wilderness of Tekoa is mentioned (2Ch 20:20) as the extreme edge of the inhabited area; here Jehoshaphat took counsel before advancing into the wilderness of Judea to confront the Ammonites and Moabites. In Jer 6:1, we read, "Blow the trumpet in Tekoa and raise a signal in Beth-haccherim"—because of the enemy advancing from the North. Amos 1:1, one of the "herdsmen of Tekoa," was born here.

In Jos 15:59 (addition to verse in Septuagint only) Tekoa occurs at the beginning of the list of 11 additional cities of Judah—a list which includes Bethlehem, Ain Kairem and Bettir—which are omitted in the Hebrew. A Tekoa is mentioned as a son of Ashhur (1Ch 2:24; 4:5).

Jonathan Maccabeus and his brother Simon fled from the vengeance of Bacchides "into the wilderness of Thecoe (the Revised Version (British and American) "Tekoah") and pitched their tents (the Revised Version (British and American) "encamped") by the water of the pool Asphar" (1 Macc 9:33).

2. Later History:

Josephus calls Tekoa a village in his day (Vita, 75), as does Jerome who describes it as 12 miles from Jerusalem and visible from Bethlehem; he says the tomb of the prophet Amos was there (Commentary on Jeremiah, VI, 1). "There was," he says, "no village beyond Tekoa in the direction of the wilderness." The good quality of its oil and honey is praised by other writers. In the 6th century a monastery, Laura Nova, was founded there by Saba. In the crusading times Tekoa was visited by pious pilgrims wishing to see the tomb of Amos, and some of the Christian inhabitants assisted the Crusaders in the first siege of Jerusalem. In 1138 the place was pillaged by a party of Turks from the East of the Jordan, and since that time the site appears to have lain desolate and ruined, although even in the 14th century the tomb of Amos was still shown.

3. The Site of Tequ‘a:

The site is without doubt the Khirbet Tequ’a, a very extensive ruin, covering 4 or 5 acres, about 6 miles South of Bethlehem and 10 miles from Jerusalem, near the Frank Mountain and on the road to ‘Ain Jidy. The remains on the surface are chiefly of large cut stone and are all, apparently, medieval. Fragments of pillars and bases of good hard limestone occur on the top of the hill, and there is an octagonal font of rose-red limestone; it is clear that the church once stood there. There are many tombs and cisterns in the neighborhood of a much earlier period. A spring is said to exist somewhere on the site, but if so it is buried out of sight. There is a reference in the "Life of Saladin" (Bahaoddenus), to the "river of Tekoa," from which Richard Coeur de Lion and his army drank, 3 miles from Jerusalem: this may refer to the Arab extension of the "low-level aqueduct" which passes through a long tunnel under the Sahl Tequ‘a and may have been thought by some to rise there.

The open fields around Teqa’a are attractive and well suited for olive trees (which have now disappeared), and there are extensive grazing-lands. The neighborhood, even the "wilderness" to the East, is full of the flocks of wandering Bedouin. From the site, Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives and Nebi Samuel (Mizpah) are all visible; to the Northeast is a peep of the Jordan valley near Jericho and of the mountains of Gilead, but most of the eastern outlook is cut off by rising ground (PEF, III, 314, 368, Sh XXI).

E. W. G. Masterman


tel-a’-bib (tel ‘abhibh; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) ad acervum novarum frugum):

1. The Name and Its Meaining:

As written in Hebrew, Tel-abib means "hill of barley-ears" and is mentioned in Eze 3:15 as the place to which the prophet went, and where he found Jewish captives "that dwelt by the river Chebar." That Tel-abib is written, as Fried. Delitzsch suggests, for Til Ababi, "Mound of the Flood" (which may have been a not uncommon village-name in Babylonia) is uncertain. Moreover, if the captives themselves were the authors of the name, it is more likely to have been in the Hebrew language. Septuagint, which has meteoros, "passing on high," referring to the manner in which the prophet reached Tel-abib, must have had a different Hebrew reading.

2. The Position of the Settlement:

If the Chebar be the nar Kabari, as suggested by Hilprecht, Tel-abib must have been situated somewhere in the neighborhood of Niffer, the city identified with the Calneh of Ge 10:10. The tablet mentioning the river Kabaru refers to grain (barley?) seemingly sent by boat from Niffer in Nisan of the 21st year of Artaxerxes I. Being a navigable waterway, this was probably a good trading-center.


See Hilprecht and Clay, Business Documents of Murasha Sons ("Pennsylvania Exp.," Vol IX, 28); Clay, Light on the Old Testament from Babel, 405.

T. G. Pinches


tel-har’-sha (tel-charsha’): In Ezr 2:59; Ne 7:61 (the King James Version in latter, "‘Telharesha," tel-ha-re’sha, -har’e-sha), a Babylonian town or village from which Jews who could not show their lineage returned with Zerubbabel. The site is unknown. In 1 Esdras 5:36 it is called "Thelersas."


tel-me’-la (tel-melah, "hill of salt"): A Babylonian town mentioned in Ezr 2:59; Ne 7:61 with Tel-harsha and Cherub (see TEL-HARSHA). It possibly lay on the low salt tract near the Persian Gulf. In 1 Esdras 5:36 it is called "Thermeleth."


te’-la (telah; Codex Vaticanus Thalees, Codex Alexandrinus Thale; Lucian, Thala): An Ephraimite (1Ch 7:25).


te-la’-im (ha-tela’-im "the young lambs"; en Galgalois): The place where Saul "summoned the people, and numbered them" (1Sa 15:4) before his attack on Agag, king of the Amalekites. Some authorities read "Telam" for "Havilah" in verse 7 and also find this name in 1Sa 27:8 instead of me‘olam. In Septuagint and Josephus (Ant., VI, vii, 2) Gilgal occurs instead of Telaim, on what ground is not known. Probably Telaim is identical with TELEM (which see), though the former may have been the name of a Bedouin tribe inhabiting the latter district. Compare Dhallam Arabs now found South of Tell el-Milch.

E. W. G. Masterman


te-las’-ar (tela’-ssar (2Ki 19:12), telassar (Isa 37:12); Codex Alexandrinus Thalassar; Codex Vaticanus Thaesthen; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Thelassar, Thalassar):

1. The Name and Its Meaning:

This city, which is referred to by Sennacherib’s messengers to Hezekiah, is stated by them to have been inhabited by the "children of Eden." It had been captured by the Assyrian king’s forefathers, from whose hands its gods had been unable to save it. Notwithstanding the vocalization, the name is generally rendered "Hill of Asshur," the chief god of the Assyrians, but "Hill of Assar," or Asari (a name of the Babylonian Merodach), would probably be better.

2. Suggestions as to the Geographical Position:

As Telassar was inhabited by the "children of Eden," and is mentioned with Gozan, Haran, and Rezeph, in Western Mesopotamia, it has been suggested that it lay in Bit Adini, "the House of Adinu," or Betheden, in the same direction, between the Euphrates and the Belikh. A place named Til-Assuri, however, is twice mentioned by Tiglath-pileser IV (Ann., 176; Slab-Inscr., II, 23), and from these passages it would seem to have lain near enough to the Assyrian border to be annexed. The king states that he made there holy sacrifices to Merodach, whose seat it was. It was inhabited by Babylonians (whose home was the Edinu or "plain"; see EDEN). Esarhaddon, Sennacherib’s son, who likewise conquered the place, writes the name Til-Asurri, and states that the people of Mihranu called it Pitanu. Its inhabitants, he says, were people of Barnaku. If this be Bit Burnaki in Elam, extending from the boundary of Rasu (see ROSH), which was ravaged by Sennacherib (Babylonians Chronicles, III, 10 ff), Til-Assuri probably lay near the western border of Elam. Should this identification be the true one, the Hebrew form telassar would seem to be more correct than the Assyrian Til-Assuri (-Asurri), which latter may have been due to the popular idea that the second element was the name of the national god Assur. See French Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies? 264.

T. G. Pinches


te’-lem (Telem; Telem): A city in the Negeb "toward the border of Edom," belonging to Judah (Jos 15:24). In Septuagint of 2Sa 3:12 Abner is said to send messengers to David at Thelam (Thailam); this would seem to be the same place and also to be identical with the Telaim and Telam of Saul (see TELAIM). It is probably the same as the Talmia of the Talmud (Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, 121). The site has not been recovered.


(Telem; Septuagint Codex Vaticanus Telem; Codex Alexandrinus Tellem): One of three "porters" who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:24), his name appearing as "Tolbanes" in 1 Esdras 9:25; perhaps the same as TALMON (which see).






1. Name

2. Discovery

3. Physical Character


1. Peculiar Cuneiform Script

2. Method of Writing Proper Names


1. Knowledge of Amorite, Hittite and Mitannian Tongues

2. Persistence of Canaanite Names to the Present Time

3. Verification of Biblical Statements concerning "the Language of Canaan"


1. Political and Ethnological Lines and Locations

2. Verification of Biblical and Egyptian Geographical Notices

3. Confirmation of General Evidential Value of Ancient Geographical Notes of Bible Lands


1. Revolutionary Change of Opinion concerning Canaanite Civilization in Patriarchal Times

2. Anomalous Historical Situation Revealed by Use of Cuneiform Script

3. Extensive Diplomatic Correspondence of the Age

4. Unsolved Problem of the Habiri


A collection of about 350 inscribed clay tablets from Egypt, but written in the cuneiform writing, being part of the royal archives of Amenophis III and Amenophis IV; kings of the XVIIIth Egyptian Dynasty about 1480 to 1460 BC. Some of the tablets are broken and there is a little uncertainty concerning the exact number of separate letters. 81 are in the British Museum = BM; 160 in the New Babylonian and Assyrian Museum, Berlin= B; 60 in the Cairo Museum = C; 20 at Oxford = O; the remainder, 20 or more, are in other museums or in private collections.

I. Introduction.

1. Name:

The name, Tell el-Armarna, "the hill Amarna," is the modern name of ancient ruins about midway between Memphis and Luxor in Egypt. The ruins mark the site of the ancient city Khut Aten, which Amenophis IV built in order to escape the predominant influence of the old religion of Egypt represented by the priesthood at Thebes, and to establish a new cult, the worship of Aten, the sun’s disk.

2. Discovery:

In 1887 a peasant woman, digging in the ruins of Tell el-Amarna for the dust of ancient buildings with which to fertilize her garden, found tablets, a portion of the royal archives. She filled her basket with tablets and went home. How many she had already pulverized and grown into leeks and cucumbers and melons will never be known. This time someone’s curiosity was aroused, and a native dealer secured the tablets. Knowledge of the "find" reached Chauncey Murch, D.D., an American missionary stationed at Luxor, who, suspecting the importance of the tablets, called the attention of cuneiform scholars to them. Then began a short but intense and bitter contest between representatives of various museums on the one hand, eager for scientific material, and native dealers, on the other hand, rapacious at the prospect of the fabulous price the curious tablets might bring. The contest resulted in the destruction of some of the tablets by ignorant natives and the final distribution of the remainder and of the broken fragments, as noted at the beginning of this article. (see also Budge, History of Egypt, IV, 186). After the discovery of the tablets the site of the ancient city was excavated by Professor Petrie in 1891-92 (Tell el-Amarna; compare also Baedeker, Egypt).

3. Physical Character:

The physical character of the tablets is worthy of some notice. They are clay tablets. Nearly all are brick tablets, i.e. rectangular, flat tablets varying in size from 2 X 2 1/2 in. to 3 1/2 X 9 inches, inscribed on both sides and sometimes upon the edges. One tablet is of a convex form (B 1601). The clay used in the tablets also varies much. The tablets of the royal correspondence from Babylonia and one tablet from Mitanni (B 153) are of fine Babylonian clay. The Syrian and Palestinian correspondence is in one or two instances of clay which was probably imported from Babylonia for correspondence, but for the most part these tablets are upon the clay of the country and they show decided differences among themselves in color and texture: in some instances the clay is sandy and decidedly inferior. A number of tablets have red points, a kind of punctuation for marking the separation into words, probably inserted by the Egyptian translator of the letters at the court of the Pharaoh. These points were for the purpose of assisting in the reading. They do now assist the reading very much. Some tablets also show the hieroglyphic marks which the Egyptian scribe put on them when filing them among the archives. The writing also is varied. Some of the tablets from Palestine (B 328, 330, 331) are crudely written. Others of the letters, as in the royal correspondence from Babylonia, are beautifully written. These latter (B 149-52) seem to have been written in a totally different way from the others; those from Western Asia appear to have been written with the stylus held as we commonly hold a pen, but the royal letters from Babylonia were written by turning the point of the stylus to the left and the other end to the right over the second joint of the first finger.

The results of the discovery of the Tell el-Amarna Letters have been far-reaching, and there are indications of still other benefits which may yet accrue from them. The discovery of them shares with the discovery of the Code of Hammurabi the distinction of the first place among Biblical discoveries of the past half-century.

II. Epigraphical Value

1.Peculiar Cuneiform Script:

The peculiar use of the cuneiform method of writing in these tablets in order to adapt it to the requirements of a strange land having a native tongue, and the demands made upon it for the representation of proper names of a foreign tongue, have already furnished the basis for the opinion that the same cuneiform method of writing was employed originally in other documents, especially some portions of the Bible and much material for Egyptian governmental reports. It is not improbable that by means of such data furnished by the tablets definite clues may be obtained to the method of writing, and by that also approximately the time of the composition, of the literary sources that were drawn upon in the composition of the Pentateuch, and even of the Pentateuch itself (compare especially Naville, Archaeology of the Bible).

2. Method of Writing Proper Names:

Most of the letters were probably written by Egyptian officers or, more frequently, by scribes in the employ of native appointees of the Egyptian government. The writing of so many proper names by these scribes in the cuneiform script has thrown a flood of light upon the spelling of Canaanite names by Egyptian scribes in the hieroglyphic inscriptions of Egypt. It is evident now that certainly some, perhaps most, of these scribes worked from cuneiform lists (Muller, Egyptological Researches, 1906, 40). As the system of representation of Palestinian names by Egyptian scribes becomes thus better understood, the identification of more and more of the places in Palestine named in the Egyptian inscriptions becomes possible. Every such identification makes more nearly perfect the identification of Biblical places, the first and most important item in historical evidence.

III. Philologlcal Value.

1. Knowledge of Amorite, Hittite and Mitannian Tongues:

No other literary discovery, indeed, not all the others together, have afforded so much light upon philological problems in patriarchal Palestine as the Tell el-Amarna Letters. Something is now really definitely known of "the language of Canaan," the speech of the people of patriarchal days in Palestine. The remarkable persistence of old Canaanite words and names and forms of speech of these tablets down to the present time makes it plain that the peasant speech of today is the lineal descendant of that of Abraham’s day. The letters are in the Babylonian tongue modified by contact with the speech of the country, a kind of early Aramaic (Conder, The Tell Amarna Tablets, X; Dhorme, "La langue de Canaan," Revue Biblique, Juillet, 1913, 369). There are also frequent Canaanite words inserted as glosses to explain the Babylonian words (Dhorme, op. cit.).

2. Persistence of Canaanite Names to the Present Time: The facts evinced by the persistence of the early Canaanite speech (compare 1, above) down through all the centuries to the peasant speech of Palestine of today furnishes a verification of the Biblical reference to the "language of Canaan" (lsa 19:18). That peasant speech is, as it manifestly has always been since patriarchal times, a Semitic tongue. Now, even so adventurous a work as a grammar of the ancient Canaanite language has been attempted, based almost entirely upon the material furnished by the Tell el-Amarna Letters (Dhorme, op. cit.), in which the speech of Palestine in patriarchal days is described as "ancient Canaanite or Hebrew."

3. Verification of Biblical Statements concerning "the Language of Canaan":

Some more specific knowledge is also supplied by the Tell el-Amarna Letters concerning the Amorite language through the many Amorite names and the occasional explanations given in Amorite words (compare especially the 50 letters of Ribadda), and some knowledge of Hittite (Letter of Tarkhundara; Conder, The Tell Amarna Tablets, 225 f), concerning the Mitannian tongue (B 153, 190, 191, 233). One other tablet (B 342) is in an unknown tongue.

IV. Geographical Value.

1. Political and Ethnological Lines and Locations

There was a very wide international horizon in the days of the correspondence contained in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, a horizon that enclosed Egypt, Babylonia, Canaan, Mitanni and the land of the Hittites; but the more definite geographical information supplied by the tablets is limited almost entirely to the great Syrian and Canaanite coast land. There is difference of opinion concerning the identification of a few of the places mentioned, but about 90 have been identified with reasonable certainty.

2. Verification of Biblical and Egyptian Geographical Notices

It is possible now to trace the course of the military operations mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna Letters with almost as much satisfaction as the course of a modern military campaign, and there is much verification also of Biblical and Egyptian geographical notices.

3. Confirmation of General Evidential Value of Ancient Geographical Notes of Bible Lands

The identification of such a large number of places and the ability thus given to trace the course of historical movements in that remote age are a remarkable testimony to the historical value of ancient records of that part of the world, for accuracy concerning place is of first importance in historical records.

V. Historical Value.

The Tell el-Amarna Letters furnish an amount of historical material about equal in bulk to one-half of the Pentateuch. While much of this bears more particularly upon general history of the ancient Orient, there is scarcely any part of it which does not directly or indirectly supply information which parallels some phase of Biblical history. It is not certain that any individual mentioned in the Bible is mentioned in these tablets, yet it is possible, many think it well established, that many of the persons and events of the conquest period are mentioned (compare 4 (1), below). There is also much that reflects the civilization of times still imperfectly understood, reveals historical events hitherto unknown, or but little known, and gives many sidelights upon the movements of nations and peoples of whom there is something said in the Bible.

1. Revolutionary Change of Opinion concerning Canaanite Civilization in Patriarchal Times

A revolutionary change of opinion concerning the civilization of patriarchal Palestine has taken place. It was formerly the view of all classes of scholars, from the most conservative, on the one hand, to the most radical, on the other, that there was a very crude state of civilization in Palestine in the patriarchal age, and this entirely independent of, and indeed prior to, any demand made by the evolutionary theory of Israel’s history. Abraham was pictured as a pioneer from a land of culture to a distant dark place in the world, and his descendants down to the descent into Egypt were thought to have battled with semi-barbarous conditions, and to have returned to conquer such a land and bring civilization into it. All this opinion is now changed, primarily by the information contained in the Tell el-Amarna Letters and secondarily by incidental hints from Egyptian and Babylonian inscriptions now seen to support the high stage of civilization revealed in the Tell el-Amarna Letters (see ARCHAEOLOGY AND CRITICISM). The tablets make mention of "‘ capital cities,’ ‘provincial cities,’ ‘fortresses,’ ‘towns,’ and ‘villages’ with ‘camps’ and Hazors (or enclosures); while irrigation of gardens is also noticed, and the papyrus grown at Gebal, as well as copper, tin, gold, silver, agate, money (not, of course, coins) and precious objects of many kinds, mulberries, olives, corn, ships and chariots" (Conder, op. cit., 4).

The account of a bride’s marriage portion from Mitanni reveals conditions farther north: "Two horses, and a chariot plated with gold and silver, and adorned with precious stones. The harness of the horses was adorned in like manner. Two camel litters appear to be next noticed, and apparently variegated garments worked with gold, and embroidered zones and shawls. These are followed by lists of precious stones, and a horse’s saddle adorned with gold eagles. A necklace of solid gold and gems, a bracelet of iron gilt, an anklet of solid gold, and other gold objects follow; and apparently cloths, and silver objects, and vases of copper or bronze. An object of jade or jasper and leaves of gold. .... Five gems of ‘stone of the great light’ (probably diamonds) follow, with ornaments for the head and feet, and a number of bronze objects and harness for chariots" (ibid., 188-89). The record of Thothmes III concerning booty brought from Palestine fully confirms this representation of the tablets (Birch, Records of the Past, 1st ser., II, 35-52; compare Sayce, Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions, 156-57).

The Babylonian inscriptions show that Abraham was a part of an emigration movement from the homeland to a frontier province, having the same laws and much of the same culture (Lyon, American Oriental Society Journal, XXV, 254; Barton, American Philosophical Proceedings, LII, number 209, April, 1913, 197; Kyle, Deciding Voice of the Monuments in Biblical Criticism, chapter xv). The Egyptian sculptured pictures make clear that the civilization of Palestine in patriarchal times was fully equal to that of Egypt (compare Petrie, Deshasheh, plural IV).

That these things of elegance and skill are not merely the trappings of "barbaric splendor" is manifest from the revelation which the Tell el-Amarna Letters make of ethnic movements and of influences at work from the great nations on either side of Canaan, making it impossible that the land could have been, at that period, other than a place of advanced civilization. Nearly all the tablets furnish most unequivocal evidence that Egypt had imperial rule over the land through a provincial government which was at the time falling into decay, while the cuneiform method of writing used in the tablets by such a variety of persons, in such high and low estate, implying thus long-established literary culture and a general diffusion of the knowledge of a most difficult system of writing, makes it clear that the civilization of Babylonia had been well established before the political power of Egypt came to displace that of Babylonia.

2. Anomalous Historical Situation Revealed by Use of Cuneiform Script

The displacement of Babylonian political power in Palestine just mentioned (1, above) points at once to a most remarkable historical situation revealed by the Tell el-Amarna Letters, i.e. official Egyptian correspondence between the out-lying province of Canaan and the imperial government at home, carried on, not in the language and script of Egypt, but in the script of Babylonia and in a language that is a modified Babylonian. This marks one step in the great, age-long conflict between the East and the West, between Babylonia and Egypt, with Canaan as the football of empires. It reveals—what the Babylonian inscriptions confirm—the long-preceding occupation of Canaan by Babylonia, continuing down to the beginning of patriarchal times, which had so given Canaan a Babylonian stamp that the subsequent political occupation of the land by Egypt under Thothmes III had not yet been able to efface the old stamp or give a new impression.

3. Extensive Diplomatic Correspondence of the Age

The extensive diplomatic correspondence between nations so widely separated as Egypt on the West, and Babylonia on the East, Mitanni on the North, and the Hittite country on the Northwest, is also shown by the Tell el-Amarna Letters. In addition to the large number of letters between Canaan and Egypt, there are quite a number of these royal tablets: letters from Kadashman Bell, or Kallima-Sin (BM 29784), and Burna-burias of Babylonia (B 149-52), Assur-uballidh of Assyria and Dusratta of Mitanni (B 150, 191-92, 233), etc. There seems at first sight a little pettiness about this international correspondence that is almost childish, since so much of it is occupied with the marriage of princesses and the payment of dowers, and the exchange of international gifts and privileges (Budge, History of Egypt, IV, 189-90). But one might be surprised at the amount of such things in the private correspondence of kings of the present day, if access to it could be gained. The grasping selfishness also revealed in these tablets by the constant cry for gold is, after all, but a less diplomatic and more frank expression of the commercial haggling between nations of today for advantages and concessions.

4. Unsolved Problem of the Habiri

The subject of greatest historical interest in Biblical matters presented by the Tell el-Amarna Letters is the great, unsolved problem of the Habiri. Unsolved it is, for while every writer on the subject has a very decided opinion of his own, all must admit that a problem is not solved upon which there is such wide and radical difference of opinion among capable scholars, and that not running along easy lines of cleavage, but dividing indiscriminately all classes of scholars.

(1) One view very early advanced and still strongly held by some (Conder, op. cit., 138-44) is that Habiri is to be read ‘Abiri, and means the Hebrews. It is pointed out that the letters referring to these people are from Central and Southern Palestine, that the Habiri had some relation with Mt. Seir, that they are represented as contemporaneous with Japhia king of Gezer, Jabin king of Hazor, and probably Adonizedek king of Jerusalem, contemporaries of Joshua, and that certain incidental movements of Israel and of the people of Palestine mentioned in the Bible are also mentioned or assumed in the tablets (Conder, op. cit., 139-51). In reply to these arguments for the identification of the Habiri with the Hebrews under Joshua, it may be noted that, although the letters which speak of the Habiri are all from Central or Southern Palestine, they belong to very nearly the same time as the very numerous letters concerning the extensive wars in the North. The distinct separation of the one set of letters from the other is rather arbitrary and so creates an appearance which has little or no existence in fact. Probably these southern letters refer to the same disturbances spreading from the North toward the South, which is fatal to theory that the Habiri are the Hebrews under Joshua, for these latter came in from the Southeast. The reference to Seir is obscure and seems rather to locate that place in the direction of Carmel (Conder, op. cit., 145). The mention of Japhia king of Gezer, and Jabin king of Hazor, does not signify much, for these names may be titles, or there may have been many kings, in sequence, of the same name. Concerning Adonizedek, it is diffcult to believe that this reading of the name of the king of Jerusalem would ever have been thought of, except for the desire to identify the Habiri with the Hebrews under Joshua. This name Adonizedek is only made out, with much uncertainty, by the unusual method of translating the king’s name instead of transliterating it. If the name was Adonizedek, why did not the scribe write it so, instead of translating it for the Pharaoh into an entirely different name because of its meaning? The seeming correspondences between the letters and the account of the conquest in the Bible lose much of their significance when the greater probabilities raised in the names and the course of the wars are taken away.

(2) Against the view that the Habiri were the Hebrews of the Bible may be cited not only these discrepancies in the evidence presented for that view (compare (1), above), but also the very strong evidence from Egypt that the Exodus took place in the Ramesside dynasties, thus not earlier than the XIXth Dynasty and probably under Merenptah, the successor of Rameses II. The name Rameses for one of the store cities could hardly have occurred before the Ramesside kings. The positive declaration of Rameses II: "I built Pithom," against which there is no evidence whatever, and the coincidence between the Israel tablet of Merenptah (Petrie, Six Temples at Thebes, 28, pls. XIII-XIV) and the Biblical record of the Exodus, which makes the 5th year under Merenptah to be the 5th year of Moses’ leadership (see MOSES), make it very difficult, indeed seemingly impossible, to accept the Habiri as the Hebrews of the conquest.

(3) Another view concerning the Habiri, strongly urged by some (Sayce, The Higher Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments, 175 ff), is that they are Habiri, not ‘Abiri, and that the name means "confederates," and was not a personal or tribal name at all. The certainty that there was, just a little before this time, an alliance in conspiracy among the Amorites and others, as revealed in the tablets for the region farther north, gives much color to this view. This opinion also relieves the chronological difficulties which beset the view that the Habiri were the Biblical Hebrews (compare (2), above), but it is contended that this reading does violence to the text.

(4) Another most ingenious view is advanced by Jeremias (The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East, 341), that the name is Habiri, that "the name answers to the sounds of ‘Hebrews,’ and that the names are identical," but that this name in the Tell el-Amarna Letters is not a proper name at all, but a descriptive word, as when we read of "Abraham the Hebrew," i.e. the "stranger" or "immigrant." Thus Habiri would be "Hebrews," i.e. "strangers" or "immigrants" (see HEBERITES; HEBREW), but the later question of the identification of these with the Hebrews of the Bible is still an open question.

(5) It may be that the final solution of the problem presented by the Habiri will be found in the direction indicated by combining the view that sees in them only "strangers" with the view that sees them to be "confederates." There were undoubtedly "confederates" in conspiracy against Egypt in the time of the Tell el-Amarna Letters. The government of Egypt did not come successfully to the relief of the beleaguered province, but weakly yielded. During the time between the writing of the tablets and the days of Merenptah and the building of Pithom no great strong government from either Egypt or Babylonia or the North was established in Palestine. At the time of the conquest there is constant reference made to "the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites," etc. Why are they so constantly mentioned as a group, unless they were in some sense "confederates"? It is not impossible, indeed it is probable, that these Hittites and Amorites and Perizzites, etc., Palestinian tribes having some kind of loose confederacy in the days of the conquest, represent the last state of the confederates," the conspirators, who began operations in the Amorite war against the imperial Egyptian government recorded in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, and, in the correspondence from the South, were called in those days Habiri, i.e. "strangers" or "immigrants." For the final decision on the problem of the Habiri and the full elucidation of many things in the Tell el-Amarna Letters we must await further study of the tablets by expert cuneiform scholars, and especially further discovery in contemporary history.

The Jerusalem letters of the southern correspondence present something of much importance which does not bear at all upon the problem of the Habiri. The frequently recurring title of the king of Jerusalem, "It was not my father, it was not my mother, who established me in this position" (Budge, History of Egypt, IV, 231-35), seems to throw light upon the strange description given of MELCHIZEDEK (which see), the king of Jerusalem in the days of Abraham. The meaning here clearly is that the crown was not hereditary, but went by appointment, the Pharaoh of Egypt having the appointing power. Thus the king as such had no ancestor and no descendant, thus furnishing the peculiar characteristics made use of to describe the character of the Messiah’s priesthood in the Epistle to the Hebrews (7:3).


Conder, The Tell Amarna Tablets; Knudtzon, Die El-Amarna-Tafeln, in Heinrich’s Vorderasiatische Bibliothek, II; Petrie, Tell el Amarna Tablets; idem, Syria and Egypt from the Tell el Amarna Letters; idem, Hist of Egypt; Jeremias, The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East.

M. G. Kyle


te’-ma (tema’," south country"; Thaiman): The name of a son of Ishmael (Ge 25:15; 1Ch 1:30), of the tribe descended from him (Jer 25:23), and of the place where they dwelt (Job 6:19; Isa 21:14). This last was a locality in Arabia which probably corresponds to the modern Teima’ (or Tayma’ (see Doughty, Arabia Deserta, I, 285)), an oasis which lies about 200 miles North of el-Medina, and some 40 miles South of Dumat el-Jandal (Dumah), now known as el-Jauf. It is on the ancient caravan road connecting the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Aqaba; and doubtless the people took a share in the carrying trade (Job 6:19). The wells of the oasis still attract the wanderers from the parched wastes (Isa 21:14). Doughty (loc. cit.) describes the ruins of the old city wall, some 3 miles in circuit. An Aramaic stele recently discovered, belonging to the 6th century BC, shows the influence of Assyrian article The place is mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions (Schrader, KAT2, 149).

W. Ewing


te’-ma (temach, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Vaticanus Thema; Lucian, Themaa; Ne 7:55; Codex Vaticanus Hemath; Codex Alexandrinus Thema; Lucian, Themaa; the King James Version, Thamah): The family name of a company of Nethinim (Ezr 2:53).


te’-man (teman, "on the right," i.e. "south"; Thaiman): The name of a district and town in the land of Edom, named after Teman the grandson of Esau, the son of his firstborn, Eliphaz (Ge 36:11; 1Ch 1:36). A duke Teman is named among the chiefs or clans of Edom (Ge 36:42; 1Ch 1:53). He does not however appear first, in the place of the firstborn. Husham of the land of the Temanites was one of the ancient kings of Edom (Ge 36:34; 1Ch 1:45). From Obad 1:9 we gather that Teman was in the land of Esau (Edom). In Am 1:12 it is named along with Bozrah, the capital of Edom. In Eze 25:13 desolation is denounced upon Edom: "From Teman even unto Dedan shall they fall by the sword." Dedan being in the South, Teman must be sought in the North Eusebius, Onomasticon knows a district in the Gebalene region called Theman, and also a town with the same name, occupied by a Roman garrison, 15 miles from Petra. Unfortunately no indication of direction is given. No trace of the name has yet been found. It may have been on the road from Elath to Bozrah.

The inhabitants of Teman seem to have been famous for their wisdom (Jer 49:7; Obad 1:8 f). Eliphaz the Temanite was chief of the comforters of Job (2:11, etc.). The manner in which the city is mentioned by the prophets, now by itself, and again as standing for Edom, shows how important it must have been in their time.

W. Ewing


tem’-e-ni, te’-me-ni (temeni, Baer, timeni; Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus Thaiman; Lucian, Thaimanei): The word temeni means a southerner, i.e. of Southern Judah; compare TEMAN (patronymic temani), the name of Edom (Ge 36:11, etc.), the "son" of Ashhur (1Ch 4:6).


tem’-per: The word is used in the King James Version to render different Hebrew words. In Eze 46:14 for "temper" (racac) the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "moisten." In So (5:2) a noun from the same stem means "dew-drops." In Ex 29:2 the King James Version we read "cakes unleavened, tempered (balal, literally, "mixed") with oil," the Revised Version (British and American) "mingled." The word denotes "rough-and-ready mixing." In the recipe for the making of incense given in Ex (30:35) occur the words "tempered together," malach (literally, "salted"; hence, the Revised Version (British and American) "seasoned with salt"). The word occurs in two interesting connections in The Wisdom of Solomon 15:7 (the Revised Version (British and American) "knead") and 16:21. In 1Co 12:24 it occurs in English Versions of the Bible as a rendering of the Greek word sugqerannumi, which meant to "mix together." Paul is arguing in favor of the unity of the church and of cooperation on the part of individual members, and uses as an illustration the human body which consists of various organs with various functions. It is God, argues the apostle, who has "tempered," "compounded" or "blended," the body. Each member has its place and function and must contribute to the welfare of the whole frame. The same Greek word occurs in Heb 4:2. The author urges the necessity of faith in regard to the gospel. The unbelieving Israelites had derived no benefit from their hearing of the gospel because their hearing of it was not "mixed" with faith.

T. Lewis


tem’-per-ans; tem’-per-at (egkrateia), (egkrates, nephalios, sophron): the American Standard Revised Version departs from the King James Version and the English Revised Version by translating egkrateia "self-control" (Ac 24:25; Ga 5:23; 2Pe 1:6; 1Co 9:25), following the English Revised Version margin in several of these passages. This meaning is in accordance with classical usage, Plato applying it to "mastery" not only of self, but of any object denoted by a genitive following. Septuagint applies it to the possession "of strongholds" (2 Macc 8:30; 10:15), "of a position" (2 Macc 10:17), "of the city" (2 Macc 13:13), "of wisdom" (Sirach 6:27). The reflexive meaning of "self-mastery," "self-restraint," is equally well established in the classics and Septuagint. Thus, in the verbal form, it is found in Ge 43:31, for the self-restraint exercised by Joseph in the presence of his brethren, when they appeared before him as suppliants, and in 1Sa 13:12, where Saul professes that he "forced" himself to do what was contrary to his desire. For patristic use of the term, see illustrations in Suicer’s Thesaurus Ecclesiasticus, I, 1000 ff. Clement of Alexandria: "Not abstaining from all things, but using continently such things as one has judged should be used"; "such things as do not seem beyond right reason." Basil: "To avoid excess on both sides, so as neither by luxury to be confused, nor, by becoming sickly, to be disabled from doing what has been commanded." Chrysostom (on 1Ti 1:8) applies it to "one mastering passion of tongue, hand and unbridled eyes." Ellicott and Eadie (on Ga 5:23) quote Diogenes Laertius to the effect that the word refers to "control over the stronger passions." In 1Co 9:25, Paul illustrates it by the training of an athlete, whose regimen is not only described in the Ars Poetica of Horace (412 ff), and in Epictetus (quoted in Alford on this passage), but can be learned of the many devotees and admirers of similar pursuits today.

The principle involved is that of the concentration of all man’s powers and capabilities upon the one end of doing God’s will, in and through whatever calling God appoints, and the renunciation of everything either wholly or to whatever degree necessary, however innocent or useful it may be in its proper place, that interferes with one’s highest efficiency in this calling (1Co 10:31). Not limited to abstinence, it is rather the power and decision to abstain with reference to some fixed end, and the use of the impulses of physical, as servants for the moral, life. It does not refer to any one class of objects that meets us, but to all; to what concerns speech and judgment, as well as to what appeals to sense. It is properly an inner spiritual virtue, working into the outward life, incapable of being counterfeited or replaced by any abstinence limited to that which is external (Augsburg Confession, Articles XXVI, XXVII). When its absence, however, is referred to as sin, the negative is generally more prominent than the positive side of temperance. The reference in Ac 24:25 is to chastity, and in 1Co 7:9, as the context shows, to the inner side of chastity. In 1Ti 3:2,11; Tit 2:2, the word nephalios has its original meaning as the opposite to "drunken" (see SOBRIETY; DRINK, STRONG). See also the treatises on ethics by Luthardt (both the Compendium and the History), Martensen, Koestlin and Haring on temperance, asceticism, continence.

H. E. Jacobs


tem’-pest (ce‘-arah, or se‘-arah, "a whirlwind," zerem, "overflowing rain"; cheimon, thuella): Heavy storms of wind and rain are common in Palestine and the Mediterranean. The storms particularly mentioned in the Bible are:

(1) the 40 days’ rain of ~the great flood of Noah (Ge 7:4);

(2) hail and rain as a plague in Egypt (Ex 9:18);

(3) the great rain after the drought and the contest of Elijah on Carmel (1Ki 18:45);

(4) the tempest on the sea in the story of Jonah (1:4);

(5) the storm on the Lake of Galilee when Jesus was awakened to calm the waves (Mt 8:24; Mr 4:37; Lu 8:23);

(6) the storm causing the shipwreck of Paul at Melita (Ac 27:18).

Frequent references are found to God’s power over storm and use of the tempest in His anger: "He maketh the storm a calm" (Ps 107:29); He sends the "tempest of hail, a destroying storm" (Isa 28:2). See also Job 9:17; 21:18; Isa 30:30. Yahweh overwhelms His enemies as with a storm: "She shall be visited of Yahweh of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest" (Isa 29:6). Yahweh is a "refuge from the storm" (Isa 25:4; 4:6).

Alfred H. Joy


After the conquest of Midian, "Moses took one drawn out of every fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, that kept the charge of the tabernacle of Yahweh" (Nu 31:47; compare 31:30). Similarly, after the deception of Joshua by the Gibeonites, "Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of Yahweh, unto this day" (Jos 9:27). The object of these notices, evidently, is to explain how a non-Israelitish class of sanctuary servants had taken their origin. Their existence at the time of Ezekiel, however, is the object of one of the latter’s severest denunciations: "Ye have brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to profane it. .... And ye have not kept the charge of my holy things; but ye have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves" (Eze 44:7 f). In place of these servants or "keepers" Ezekiel directs that such Levites are to be employed as have been degraded from priestly privileges for participating in idolatrous worship. On them shall devolve all the various duties of the temple except the actual offering of sacrifices, which is reserved for "the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok" (44:10-15). For the use of this deposed class, "the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house," is reserved a special room in the inner court of the temple (40:44 f).

See, further, NETHINIM.

Burton Scott Easton


tem’-p’l (hekhal, "palace"; sometimes, as in 1Ki 6:3,5, etc.; Eze 41:1,15 ff, used for "the holy place" only; bayith, "house," thus always in the Revised Version (British and American); hieron, naos):




1. David’s Project

2. Plans and Preparations

3. Character of the Building

4. Site of the Temple

5. Phoenician Assistance


1. In General

2. Dimensions, Divisions and Adornments

3. The Side-Chambers

4. The Porch and Pillars


1. The Inner Court

(1) Walls

(2) Gates

2. The Great Court

3. The Royal Buildings


1. The Sanctuary

(1) The "Debhir"

(2) The "Hekhal"

2. The Court (Inner)

(1) The Altar

(2) The Molten (Bronze) Sea

(3) The Layers and Their Bases


1. Building and Dedication

2. Repeated Plunderings, etc.

3. Attempts at Reform

4. Final Overthrow



1. Relation to History of Temple

2. The Conception Unique and Ideal

3. Its Symmetrical Measurements


1. The Outer Court

2. The Inner Court

3. The Temple Building and Adjuncts



1. The Decree of Cyrus

2. Founding of the Temple

3. Opposition and Completion of the Work


1. The House

2. Its Divisions and Furniture

3. Its Courts, Altar, etc.

4. Later Fortunes



1. Initiation of the Work

2. Its Grandeur

3. Authorities

4. Measurements


1. Temple Area—Court of Gentiles

2. Inner Sanctuary Inclosure

(1) Wall, "Chel," "Coregh," Gates

(2) Court of the Women

(3) Inner Courts: Court of Israel; Court of the Priests

(4) The Altar, etc.

3. The Temple Building

(1) House and Porch

(2) "Hekhal" and "Debhir"

(3) The Side-Chambers


1. Earlier Incidents

2. Jesus in the Temple

3. The Passion-Week

4. Apostolic Church

5. The Temple in Christian Thought




I. Introductory.

1. David’s Project:

The tabernacle having lasted from the exodus till the commencement of the monarchy, it appeared to David to be no longer fitting that the ark of God should dwell within curtains (it was then in a tent David had made for it on Zion: 2Sa 6:17), while he himself dwelt in a cedar-lined house. The unsettled and unorganized state of the nation, which had hitherto necessitated a portable structure, had now given place to an established kingdom. The dwelling of Yahweh should therefore be henceforth a permanent building, situated at the center of the nation’s life, and "exceeding magnificent" (1Ch 22:5), as befitted the glory of Yahweh, and the prospects of the state.

2. Plans and Preparations:

David, however, while honored for his purpose, was not permitted, because he had been a man of war (2Sa 7; 1Ch 22:8; compare 1Ki 5:3), to execute the work, and the building of the house was reserved for his son, Solomon. According to the Chronicler, David busied himself in making extensive and costly preparations of wood, stone, gold, silver, etc., for the future sanctuary and its vessels, even leaving behind him full and minute plans of the whole scheme of the building and its contents, divinely communicated (1Ch 22:2 ff; 28:11 ff; 29). The general fact of lengthened preparation, and even of designs, for a structure which so deeply occupied his thoughts, is extremely probable (compare 1Ki 7:51).

3. Character of the Building:

The general outline of the structure was based on that of the tabernacle (on the modern critical reversal of this relation, see under B, below). The dimensions are in the main twice those of the tabernacle, though it will be seen below that there are important exceptions to this rule, on which the critics found so much. The old question (see TABERNACLE) as to the shape of the building—flat or gable-roofed—here again arises. Not a few modern writers (Fergusson, Schick, Caldecott, etc.), with some older, favor the tentlike shape, with sloping roof. It does not follow, however, even if this form is, with these writers, admitted for the tabernacle—a "tent"—that it is applicable, or likely, for a stone "house," and the measurements of the Temple, and mention of a "ceiling" (1Ki 6:15), point in the opposite direction. It must still be granted that, with the scanty data at command, all reconstructions of the Solomonte Temple leave much to be filled in from conjecture. Joseph Hammond has justly said: "It is certain that, were a true restoration of the Temple ever to be placed in our hands, we should find that it differed widely from all attempted ‘restorations’ of the edifice, based on the scanty and imperfect notices of our historian and Ezekiel" (Commentary on 1Ki 6, "Pulpit Commentary").

4. Site of the Temple:

The site of the Temple was on the eastern of the two hills on which Jerusalem was built—that known in Scripture as Mt. Moriah (2Ch 3:1) or Mt. Zion (the traditional view which locates Zion on the western hill, on the other side of the Tyropoeon, though defended by some, seems untenable; see "Zion," in HDB; "Jerusalem," in DB, etc.). The place is more precisely defined as that where Araunah (Ornan) had his threshing-floor, and David built his altar after the plague (1Ch 21:22; 2Ch 3:1). This spot, in turn, is now all but universally held to be marked by the sacred rock, es-Sakhra (within what is called the Haram area on the eastern summit; see JERUSALEM), above which the "Dome of the Rock," or so-called "Mosque of Omar," now stands. Here, according to traditional belief, was reared the altar of burnt offering, and to the West of it was built the Temple. This location is indeed challenged by Fergusson, W. R. Smith, and others, who transfer the Temple-site to the southwestern angle of the Haram area, but the great majority of scholars take the above view. To prepare a suitable surface for the Temple and connected buildings (the area may have been some 600 ft. East to West, and 300 to 400 ft. North to South), the summit of the hill had to be leveled, and its lower parts heightened by immense substructures (Josephus, Ant, VIII iii, 9; XV, xi, 3; BJ, V, v, 1), the remains of which modern excavations have brought to light (compare Warren’s Underground Jerusalem; G. A. Smith’s Jerusalem, etc.).

5. Phoenician Assistance:

For aid in his undertaking, Solomon invited the cooperation of Hiram, king of Tyre, who willingly lent his assistance, as he had before helped David, granting Solomon permission to send his servants to cut down timber in Lebanon, aiding in transport, and in the quarrying and hewing of stones, and sending a skillful Tyrian artist, another Hiram, to superintend the designing and graving of objects made of the precious metals, etc. For this assistance Solomon made a suitable recompense (1Ki 5; 2Ch 2). Excavations seem to show that a large part of the limestone of which the temple was built came from quarries in the immediate neighborhood of Jerusalem (Warren, Underground Jerusalem, 60). The stones were cut, hewn and polished at the places whence they were taken, so that "there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building" (1Ki 5:17,18; 6:7). Opinions differ as to the style of architecture of the building. It was probably unique, but Phoenician art also must have left its impress upon it.


II. The Temple Building.

1. In General:

In contrast with the tabernacle, which was a portable "tent," consisting of a framework of acacia wood, with rich coverings hung over it, and standing in a "court" enclosed by curtains (see TABERNACLE), the Temple was a substantial "house" built of stone (probably the hard white limestone of the district), with chambers in three stories, half the height of the building (1Ki 6:5,6), round the sides and back, and, in front, a stately porch (1Ki 6:3), before which stood two lofty bronze pillars—Jachin and Boaz (1Ki 7:21; 2Ch 3:4,15-17). Within, the house was lined with cedar, overlaid with gold, graven with figures of cherubim, palms, and open flowers (1Ki 6:15,18,21,22,29), and a partition of cedar or stone divided the interior into two apartments—one the holy place (the hekhal), the other the most holy place, or "oracle" (debhir) (1Ki 6:16-18). The floor was of stone, covered with fir (or cypress), likewise overlaid with gold (1Ki 6:15,30). The platform on which the whole building stood was probably raised above the level of the court in front, and the building may have been approached by steps. Details are not given. The more particular description follows.

2. Dimensions, Divisions and Adornments:

The Temple, like the tabernacle, stood facing East, environed by "courts" ("inner" and "greater"), which are dealt with below, Internally, the dimensions of the structure were, in length and width, double those of the tabernacle, namely, length 60 cubits, width 20 cubits. The height, however, was 30 cubits, thrice that of the tabernacle (1Ki 6:2; compare 6:18,20). The precise length of the cubit is uncertain (see CUBIT); here, as in the article TABERNACLE, it is taken as approximately 18 inches. In internal measurement, therefore, the Temple was approximately 90 ft. long, 30 ft. broad, and 45 ft. high. This allows nothing for the thickness of the partition between the two chambers. For the external measurement, the thickness of the walls and the width of the surrounding chambers and their walls require to be added. It cannot positively be affirmed that the dimensions of the Temple, including the porch, coincided precisely with those of Ezekiel’s temple (compare Keil on 1Ki 6:9,10); still, the proportions must have closely approximated, and may have been in agreement.

The walls of the building, as stated, were lined within with cedar; the holy place was ceiled with fir or cypress (2Ch 3:5; the "oracle" perhaps with cedar); the flooring likewise was of fir (1Ki 6:15). All was overlaid with gold, and walls and doors (see below) were adorned with gravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers (1Ki 6:19-35; 2Ch 3:6 adds "precious stones"). Of the two chambers into which the house was divided, the outermost (or hekhal) was 40 cubits (60 ft.) long, and 20 cubits (30 ft.) wide (1Ki 6:17); the innermost (or debhir) was 20 cubits in length, breadth and height—a cube (1Ki 6:20). As the height of the Temple internally was 30 cubits, it is obvious that above the most holy place there was a vacant space 20 cubits long and 10 high. This apparently was utilized as a chamber or chambers for storage or other purposes. It has been held by some (Kurtz, Fergusson, etc.) that the ceiling along the entire Temple was at the height of 20 cubits, with chambers above (compare the allusion to "upper chambers" in 1Ch 28:11; 2Ch 3:9); this, however, seems unwarranted (compare Bahr on 1Ki 6:14-19; the upper chambers" were "overlaid with gold," 2Ch 3:9, which points to something nobler in character). The inner chamber was a place of "thick darkness" (1Ki 8:12).

3. The Side-Chambers:

The thickness of the Temple walls is not given, but the analogy of Ezekiel’s temple (Eze 41) and what is told of the side-chambers render it probable that the thickness was not less than 6 cubits (9 ft.). Around the Temple, on its two sides and at the back, were built chambers (tsela‘oth, literally, "ribs"), the construction of which is summarily described. They were built in three stories, each story 5 cubits in height (allowance must also be made for flooring and roofing), the lowest being 5 cubits in breadth, the next 6 cubits, and the highest 7 cubits. This is explained by the fact that the chambers were not to be built into the wall of the Temple, but were to rest on ledges or rebatements in the wall, each rebate a cubit in breadth, so that the wall became thinner, and the chambers broader, by a cubit, each stage in the ascent. (1Ki 6:5-10). The door admitting into these chambers was apparently in the middle of the right side of the house, and winding stairs led up to the second and third stories (1Ki 6:8). It is not stated how many chambers there were; Josephus (Ant., VIII, iii, 2) gives the number as 30, which is the number in Ezekiel’s temple (Eze 41:6). The outer wall of the chambers, which in Ezekiel is 5 cubits thick (41:9), may have been the same here, though some make it less. It is a question whether the rebatements were in the Temple wall only, or were divided between it and the outer wall; the former seems the more probable opinion, as nothing is said of rebatements in the outer wall. Above the chambers on either side were "windows of fixed lattice-work" (41:4), i.e. openings which could not be closed ("windows broad within and narrow without"). The purposes for which the chambers were constructed are not mentioned. They may have been used partly for storage, partly for the accommodation of those engaged in the service of the Temple (compare 1Ch 9:27).

4. The Porch and Pillars:

A conspicuous feature of the Temple was the porch in front of the building, with its twin pillars, Jachin and Boaz. Of the porch itself a very brief description is given. It is stated to have been 20 cubits broad—the width of the house—and 10 cubits deep (1Ki 6:3). Its height is not given in 1 Kings, but it is said in 2Ch 3:4 to have been 120 cubits, or approximately 180 ft. Some accept this enormous height (Ewald, Stanley, etc.), but the majority more reasonably infer that there has been a corruption of the number. It may have been the same height as the Temple—30 cubits. It was apparently open in front, and, from what is said of its being "overlaid within with pure gold" (2Ch 3:4), it may be concluded that it shared in the splendor of the main building, and had architectural features of its own which are not recorded. Some find here, in the wings, treasury chambers, and above, "upper chambers," but such restorations are wholly conjectural. It is otherwise with the monumental brass (bronze) pillars—Jachin and Boaz—of which a tolerably full description is preserved (1Ki 7:15-22; 2Ch 3:15-17; 4:11-13; compare Jer 52:20-23), still, however, leaving many points doubtful. The pillars which stood in front of the porch, detached from it, were hollow bronze castings, each 18 cubits (27 ft.) in height (35 cubits in 2Ch 3:15 is an error), and 12 cubits (18 ft.) in circumference, and were surmounted by capitals 5 cubits (7 1/2 ft.) high, richly ornamented on their lower, bowl-shaped (1Ki 7:20,41,42) parts, with two rows of pomegranates, enclosing festoons of chain-work, and, in their upper parts, rising to the height of 4 cubits (6 ft.) in graceful lily-work.


It was seen that the holy place (hekhal) was divided from the most holy (debhir) by a partition, probably of cedar wood, though some think of a stone wall, one or even two cubits thick. In this partition were folding doors, made of olive wood, with their lintels 4 cubits wide (1Ki 6:31; some interpret differently, and understand the upper part of the doorway to be a pentagon). The doors, like the walls, had carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and flowers, and the whole was gold-plated (1Ki 6:32). Behind the partition hung the sanctuary veil (2Ch 3:14). At the entrance of the Temple, similarly, were folding doors, with their lintels 5 cubits in width, only this time the posts only were of olive, while the doors, divided into two leaves, were of fir (or cypress) wood (1Ki 6:33-35). The carving and gold-plating were as on the inner doors, and all the doors had hinges of gold (1Ki 7:50).

III. Courts, Gates and Royal Buildings.

The Temple was enclosed in "courts"—an "inner" (1Ki 6:36; 7:12; 2Ch 4:9, "court of the priests"; Jer 36:10, "the upper court"; Eze 8:3,16; 10:3), and an outer or "greater court" (1Ki 7:9,12; 2Ch 4:9)—regarding the situation, dimensions and relations of which, alike to one another and to the royal buildings described in 1Ki 7 the scanty notices in the history leave room for great diversity of opinion.


1. The Inner Court:

The "inner court" (chatser ha-penimith) is repeatedly referred to (see above). Its dimensions are not given, but they may be presumed to be twice those of the tabernacle court, namely, 200 cubits (300 ft.) in length and 100 cubits (150 ft.) in breadth. The name in Jer 36:10, "the upper court," indicates that it was on a higher level than the "great court," and as the Temple was probably on a platform higher still, the whole would present a striking terraced aspect.

(1) Walls:

The walls of the court were built of three rows of hewn stone, with a coping of cedar beams (1Ki 6:36). Their height is not stated; it is doubtful if it would admit of the colonnades which some have supposed; but "chambers" are mentioned (Jer 35:4; 36:10—if, indeed, all belong to the "inner" court), which imply a substantial structure. It was distinctively "the priests’ court" (2Ch 4:9); probably, in part, was reserved for them; to a certain degree, however, the laity had evidently free access into it (Jer 36:10; 38:14; Eze 8:16, etc.). The mention of "the new court" (2Ch 20:5, time of Jehoshaphat), and of "the two courts of the house of Yahweh" (2Ki 21:5; 2Ch 33:5, time of Manasseh), suggests subsequent enlargement and division.

(2) Gates:

Though gates are not mentioned in the narratives of the construction, later allusions show that there were several, though not all were of the time of Solomon. The principal entrance would, of course, be that toward the East (see EAST GATE). In Jer 26:10 there is allusion to "the entry of the new gate of Yahweh’s house." This doubtless was "the upper gate" built by Jotham (2Ki 15:35) and may reasonably be identified with the "gate that looketh toward the North" and the "gate of the altar" (i.e. through which the sacrifices were brought) in Eze 8:3,1, and with "the upper gate of Benjamin" in Jer 20:3. Mention is also made of a "gate of the guard" which descended to the king’s house (2Ki 11:19; see below). Jeremiah speaks of a "third entry that is in the house of Yahweh" (38:14), and of "three keepers of the threshold" (52:24), but it is not clear which court is intended.

2. The Great Court:

The outer or "great court" of the Temple (chatser ha-gedholah) opens up more difficult problems. Some regard this court as extending to the East in front of the "inner court"; others, as Keil, think of it as a great enclosure surrounding the "inner court" and stretching perhaps 150 cubits East of the latter (compare his Biblical Archaeology, I, 170-71). These writers remove the court from all connection with the royal buildings of 1Ki 7, and distinguish it from "the great court of 7:9,12." A quite different construction is that advocated by Stade and Benzinger, and adopted by most recent authorities (compare articles on "Temple" in HDB, IV, in EB, IV, in one-vol HDB, in DB (Dalman); G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 59 ff, etc.). The great court, on this view, not only surrounds the Temple, with its (inner) court, but, extending to the South, encloses the whole complex of the royal buildings of 1Ki 7. This has the advantage of bringing together the references to the "great court" in 1Ki 7:9,12 and the other references to the outer court. The court, thus conceived, must have been very large. The extensive part occupied by the royal buildings being on a lower level than the "inner court," entrance to it is thought to have been by "the gate of the guard unto the king’s house" mentioned in 2Ki 11:19. Its wall, like that of the inner court, was built in three courses of hewn stone, and one course of cedar (1Ki 7:12). Its gates overlaid with brass (2Ch 4:9, i.e., "bronze") show that the masonry must have been both high and substantial. On the "other court" of 1Ki 7:8, see next paragraph.

3. The Royal Buildings:

The group of buildings which, on theory now stated, were enclosed by the southern part of the great court, are those described in 1Ki 7:1-12. They were of hewn stone and cedar wood (1Ki 7:9-11), and embraced:

(1) The king’s house, or royal palace (1Ki 7:8), in close contiguity with the Temple-court (2Ki 11:19).

(2) Behind this to the West, the house of Pharaoh’s daughter (2Ki 11:9)—the apartments of the women. Both of these were enclosed in a "court" of their own, styled in 2Ki 11:8 "the other court," and in 2Ki 20:4 margin "the middle court."

(3) South of this stood the throne-room, and porch or hall of judgment, paneled in cedar" from floor to floor," i.e. from floor to ceiling (2Ki 11:7). The throne, we read later (1Ki 10:18-20), was of ivory, overlaid with gold, and on either side of the throne, as well as of the six steps that led up to it, were lions. The hall served as an audience chamber, and for the administration of justice.

(4) Yet farther South stood the porch or hall of pillars, 50 cubits (75 ft.) long and 30 cubits (45 ft.) broad, with a sub-porch of its own (1Ki 10:6). It is best regarded as a place of promenade and vestibule to the hall of judgment.

(5) Lastly, there was the imposing and elaborate building known as "the house of the forest of Lebanon" (1Ki 10:2-5), which appears to have received this name from its multitude of cedar pillars.

The scanty hints as to its internal arrangements have baffled the ingenuity of the commentators. The house was 100 cubits (150 ft.) in length, 50 cubits (75 ft.) in breadth, and 30 cubits (45 ft.) in height. Going round the sides and back there were apparently four rows of pillars. The Septuagint has three rows), on which, supported by cedar beams, rested three tiers or stories of side-chambers (literally, "ribs," as in 1Ki 6:5; compare the Revised Version margin). In 1Ki 6:3 it is disputed whether the number "forty and five; fifteen in a row" (as the Hebrew may be read) refers to the pillars or to the chambers; if to the former, the Septuagint reading of "three rows" is preferable. The windows of the tiers faced each other on the opposite sides (1Ki 6:4,5). But the whole construction is obscure and doubtful. The spacious house was used partly as an armory; here Solomon put his 300 shields of beaten gold (1Ki 10:17).

IV. Furniture of the Temple.

1. The Sanctuary:

We treat here, first, of the sanctuary in its two divisions, then of the (inner) court.

(1) The "Debhir".

In the most holy place, or debhir, of the sanctuary stood, as before, the old Mosaic ark of the covenant, with its two golden cherubim above the mercy-seat (see ARK OF THE COVENANT; TABERNACLE). Now, however, the symbolic element was increased by the ark being placed between two other figures of cherubim, made of olive wood, overlaid with gold, 10 cubits (15 ft.) high, their wings, each 5 cubits (7 1/2 ft.) long, outstretched so that they reached from wall to wall of the oracle (20 cubits), the inner wings meeting in the center (1Ki 6:23-28; 2Ch 3:10-13).


(2) The "Hekhal".

In the holy place, or hekhal, the changes were greater. (a) Before the oracle, mentioned as belonging to it (1Ki 6:22), stood the altar of incense, covered with cedar, and overlaid with gold (1Ki 6:20-22; 7:48; 2Ch 4:19; see ALTAR OF INCENSE). It is an arbitrary procedure of criticism to attempt to identify this altar with the table of shewbread. (b) Instead of one golden candlestick, as in the tabernacle, there were now 10, 5 placed on one side and 5 on the other, in front of the oracle. All, with their utensils, were of pure gold (1Ki 7:49; 2Ch 4:7). (c) Likewise, for one table of shewbread, there were now 10, 5 on one side, 5 on the other, also with their utensils made of gold (1Ki 7:48, where, however, only one table is mentioned; 2Ch 4:8, "100 basins of gold"). As these objects, only enlarged in number and dimensions, are fashioned after the model of those of the tabernacle, further particulars regarding them are not given here.

2. The Court (Inner):

(1) The Altar.

The most prominent object in the Temple-court was the altar of burnt offering, or brazen altar (see BRAZEN ALTAR). The site of the altar, as already seen, was the rock es Sakhra], where Araunah had his threshing-floor. The notion of some moderns that the rock itself was the altar, and that the brazen (bronze) altar was introduced later, is devoid of plausibility. An altar is always something reared or built (compare 2Sa 24:18,25). The dimensions of the altar, which are not mentioned in 1 K, are given in 2Ch 4:1 as 20 cubits (30 ft.) long, 20 cubits (30 ft.) broad, and 10 cubits (15 ft.) high. As utensils connected with it—an incidental confirmation of its historicity—are pots, shovels, basins and fleshhooks (1Ki 7:40,45; 2Ch 4:11,16). It will be observed that the assumed halving proportions of the tabernacle are here quite departed from (compare Ex 27:1).

(2) The Molten (Bronze) Sea.

A new feature in the sanctuary court—taking the place of the "laver" in the tabernacle—was the "molten sea," the name being given to it for its great size. It was an immense basin of bronze, 5 cubits (7 1/2 ft.) high, 10 cubits (15 ft.) in diameter at the brim, and 30 cubits (45 ft.) in circumference, resting on 12 bronze oxen, and placed between the altar and the Temple-porch, toward the South (1Ki 7:23-26,39; 2Ch 4:2-5,10). The bronze was a handbreadth in thickness. The brim was shaped like the flower of a lily, and encompassing the basin were ornamental knops. Its capacity is given as 2,000 baths (1Ki 7:26; by error in 2Ch 4:5, 3,000 baths). The oxen on which it rested faced the four cardinal points—three looking each way. The "sea," like the laver, doubtless supplied the water for the washing of the priests’ hands and feet (compare Ex 30:18; 38:8). The view of certain scholars (Kosters, Gunkel, etc.) that the "sea" is connected with Babylonian mythical ideas of the great deep is quite fanciful; no hint appears of such significance in any part of the narrative. The same applies to the lavers in the next paragraph.

(3) The Lavers and Their Bases.

The tabernacle laver had its place taken by the "sea" just described, but the Temple was also provided with 10 lavers or basins, set on "bases" of elaborate design and moving upon wheels—the whole made of bronze (1Ki 7:27-37). Their use seems to have been for the washing of sacrifices (2Ch 4:6), for which purpose they were placed, 5 on the north side, and 5 on the south side, of the Temple-court. The bases were 4 cubits (6 ft.) long, 4 cubits broad, and 3 cubits (4 1/2 ft.) high. These bases were of the nature of square paneled boxes, their sides being ornamented with figures of lions, oxen and cherubim, with wreathed work beneath. They had four feet, to which wheels were attached. The basin rested on a rounded pedestal, a cubit high, with an opening 1 1/2 cubits in diameter to receive the laver (1Ki 7:31). Mythological ideas, as just said, are here out of place.

V. History of the Temple.

1. Building and Dedication:

The Temple was founded in the 4th year of Solomon’s reign (1Ki 6:1), and occupied 7 1/2 years in building (1Ki 6:38); the royal buildings occupied 13 years (1Ki 7:1)—20 years in all (the two periods, however, may in part synchronize). On the completion of the Temple, the ark was brought up, in the presence of a vast assemblage, from Zion, and, with innumerable sacrifices and thanksgiving, was solemnly deposited in the Holy of Holies (1Ki 8:1-21; 2Ch 5; 6:1-11). The Temple itself was then dedicated by Solomon in the noble prayer recorded in 1Ki 8:22-61; 2Ch 6:12-42, followed by lavish sacrifices, and a 14 days’ feast. At its inauguration the house was filled with the "glory" of Yahweh (1Ki 8:10,11; 2Ch 5:13,14).

2. Repeated Plunderings, etc.:

The religious declension of the later days of Solomon (1Ki 11:1-8) brought in its train disasters for the nation and the Temple. On Solomon’s death the kingdom was disrupted, and the Temple ceased to be the one national sanctuary. It had its rivals in the calf-shrines set up by Jeroboam at Beth-el and Da (1Ki 12:25-33). In the 5th year of Rehoboam an expedition was made against Judah by Shishak, king of Egypt, who, coming to Jerusalem, carried away the treasures of the Temple, together with those of the king’s house, including the 300 shields of gold which Solomon had made (1Ki 14:25-28; 2Ch 12:2-9). Rehoboam’s wife, Maacah, was an idolatress, and during the reign of Abijam, her son, introduced many abominations into the worship of the Temple (1Ki 15:2,12,13). Asa cleared these away, but himself further depleted the Temple and royal treasuries by sending all that was left of their silver and gold to Ben-hadad, king of Syria, to buy his help against Baasha, king of Israel (1Ki 15:18,19). Again the Temple was foully desecrated by Athaliah (2Ch 24:7), necessitating the repairs of Jehoash (2Ki 12:4; 1Ch 24:4); and a new plundering took place in the reign of Ahaziah, when Jehoash of Israel carried off all the gold and silver in the Temple and palace (2Ki 14:14). Uzziah was smitten with leprosy for presuming to enter the holy place to offer incense (2Ch 26:16-20). Jehoshaphat, earlier, is thought to have enlarged the court (2Ch 20:5), and Jotham built a new gate (2Ki 15:35; 2Ch 27:3). The ungodly Ahaz went farther than any of his predecessors in sacrilege, for, besides robbing the Temple and palace of their treasures to secure the aid of the king of Assyria (2Ki 16:8), he removed the brazen altar from its time-honored site, and set up a heathen altar in its place, removing likewise the bases and ornaments of the lavers, and the oxen from under the brazen (bronze) sea (2Ki 16:10-17).

3. Attempts at Reform:

An earnest attempt at reform of religion was made by Hezekiah (2Ki 18:1-6; 2Ch 29:31), but even he was driven to take all the gold and silver in the Temple and king’s house to meet the tribute imposed on him by Sennacherib, stripping from the doors and pillars the gold with which he himself had overlaid them (2Ki 18:14-16; 2Ch 32:31). Things became worse than ever under Manasseh, who reared idolatrous altars in the Temple-courts, made an Asherah, introduced the worship of the host of heaven, had horses dedicated to the sun in the Temple-court, and connived at the worst pollutions of heathenism in the sanctuary (2Ki 21:3-7; 23:7,11). Then came the more energetic reforms of the reign of Josiah, when, during the repairs of the Temple, the discovery was made of the Book of the Law, which led to a new covenant with Yahweh, a suppression of the high places, and the thorough cleansing-out of abuses from the Temple (2Ki 22; 23:1-25; 2Ch 34; 35). Still, the heart of the people was not changed, and, as seen in the history, and in the pages of the Prophets, after Josiah’s death, the old evils were soon back in full force (compare e.g. Eze 8:7-18).

4. Final Overthrow:

The end, however, was now at hand. Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiakim his tributary; then, on his rebelling, came, in the reign of Jehoiachin, took Jerusalem, carried off the treasures of the Temple and palace, with the gold of the Temple vessels (part had already been taken on his first approach, 2Ch 36:7), and led into captivity the king, his household and the chief part of the population (2Ki 24:1-17). Eleven years later (586 BC), after a siege of 18 months, consequent on Zedekiah’s rebellion (2Ki 25:1), the Babylonian army completed the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Only a few lesser utensils of value, and the brazen (bronze) pillars, bases and sea remained; these were now taken away, the larger objects being broken up (2Ki 25:13-16). The Temple itself, with its connected buildings, and the houses in Jerusalem generally, were set on fire (2Ki 25:9). The ark doubtless perished in the conflagration, and is no more heard of. The residue of the population—all but the poorest—were carried away captive (2Ki 25:11,12; see CAPTIVITY). Thus ended the first Temple, after about 400 years of chequered existence.



I. Introductory.

1. Relation to History of Temple:

Wellhausen has said that Ezekiel 40-48 "are the most important in his book, and have been, not incorrectly, called the key to the Old Testament" (Prolegomena, English translation, 167). He means that Ezekiel’s legislation represents the first draft, or sketch, of a priestly code, and that subsequently, on its basis, men of the priestly school formulated the Priestly Code as we have it. Without accepting this view, dealt with elsewhere, it is to be admitted that Ezekiel’s sketch of a restored temple in chapters 40-43 has important bearings on the history of the Temple, alike in the fact that it presupposes and sheds back light upon the structure and arrangements of the first Temple (Solomon’s), and that in important respects it forecasts the plans of the second (Zerubbabel’s) and of Herod’s temples.

2. The Conception Unique and Ideal:

While, however, there is this historical relation, it is to be observed that Ezekiel’s temple-sketch is unique, presenting features not found in any of the actually built temples. The temple is, in truth, an ideal construction never intended to be literally realized by returned exiles, or any other body of people. Visionary in origin, the ideas embodied, and not the actual construction, are the main things to the prophet’s mind. It gives Ezekiel’s conception of what a perfectly restored temple and the service of Yahweh would be under conditions which could scarcely be thought of as ever likely literally to arise. A literal construction, one may say, was impossible. The site of the temple is not the old Zion, but "a very high mountain" (Eze 40:2), occupying indeed the place of Zion, but entirely altered in elevation, configuration and general character. The temple is part of a scheme of transformed land, partitioned in parallel tracts among the restored 12 tribes (Eze 47:13-48:7,23-29), with a large area in the center, likewise stretching across the whole country, hallowed to Yahweh and His service (Eze 48:8-22). Supernatural features, as that of the flowing stream from the temple in Ezekiel 47, abound. It is unreasonable to suppose that the prophet looked for such changes—some of them quite obviously symbolical—as actually impending.

3. Its Symmetrical Measurements:

The visionary character of the temple has the effect of securing that its measurements are perfectly symmetrical. The cubit used is defined as "a cubit and a handbreadth" (Eze 40:5), the contrast being with one or more smaller cubits (see CUBIT). In the diversity of opinion as to the precise length of the cubit, it may be assumed here that it was the same sacred cubit employed in the tabernacle and first Temple, and may be treated, as before, as approximately equivalent to 18 inches.

II. Plan of the Temple.

Despite obscurities and corruption in the text of Ezekiel, the main outlines of the ideal temple can be made out without much difficulty (for details the commentaries must be consulted; A. B. Davidson’s "Ezekiel" in the Cambridge Bible series may be recommended; compare also Keil; a very lucid description is given in Skinner’s "Book of Ezk," in the Expositor’s Bible, 406-13; for a different view, see Caldecott, The Second Temple in Jerusalem).

1. The Outer Court:

The temple was enclosed in two courts—an outer and an inner—quite different, however, in character and arrangement from those of the first Temple. The outer court, as shown by the separate measurements (compare Keil on Eze 40:27), was a large square of 500 cubits (750 ft.), bounded by a wall 6 cubits (9 ft.) thick and 6 cubits high (Eze 40:5). The wall was pierced in the middle of its north, east and south sides by massive gateways, extending into the court to a distance of 50 cubits (75 ft.), with a width of 25 cubits (37 1/2 ft.). On either side of the passage in these gateways were three guardrooms, each 6 cubits square (Eze 40:7 margin), and each gateway terminated in "porch," 8 cubits (12 ft.) long (Eze 40:9), and apparently (thus, the Septuagint, Eze 40:14; the Hebrew text seems corrupt), 20 cubits across. The ascent to the gateways was by seven steps (Eze 40:6; compare 40:22,26), showing that the level of the court was to this extent higher than the ground outside. Round the court, on the three sides named—its edge in line with the ends of the gateways—was a "pavement," on which were built, against the wall, chambers, 30 in number (Eze 40:17,18). At the four corners were enclosures (40 cubits by 30) where the sacrifices were cooked (compare Eze 46:21-24)—a fact which suggests that the cells were mainly for purposes of feasting. (The "arches" (’elammim) of Eze 40:16,21, etc. (the Revised Version margin "colonnade"), if distinguished from the "porch" (’ulam)—A. B. Davidson and others identify them—are still parts of the gateway—Eze 40:21, etc.).

2. The Inner Court:

The inner court was a square of 100 cubits (150 ft.), situated exactly in the center of the larger court (Eze 40:47). It, too, was surrounded by a wall, and had gateways, with guardrooms, etc., similar to those of the outer court, saving that the gateways projected outward (50 cubits), not inward. The gates of outer and inner courts were opposite to each other on the North, East, and South, a hundred cubits apart (Eze 40:19,23,27; the whole space, therefore, from wall to wall was 50 and 100 and 50 = 200 cubits). The ascent to the gates in this case was by eight steps (Eze 40:37), indicating another rise in level for the inner court. There were two chambers at the sides of the north and south gates respectively, one for Levites, the other for priests (Eze 40:44-46; compare the margin); at the gates also (perhaps only at the north gate) were stone tables for slaughtering (Eze 40:39-43). In the center of this inner court was the great altar of burnt offering (Eze 43:14-17)—a structure 18 cubits (27 ft.) square at the base, and rising in four stages (1, 2, 4, and 4 cubits high respectively, Eze 43:14,15), till it formed a square of 12 cubits (18 ft.) at the top or hearth, with four horns at the corners (Eze 43:15,16). Steps led up to it on the East (Eze 43:17).


3. The Temple Building and Adjuncts:

The inner court was extended westward by a second square of 100 cubits, within which, on a platform elevated another 6 cubits (9 ft.), stood the temple proper and its connected buildings (Eze 41:8). This platform or basement is shown by the measurements to be 60 cubits broad (North and and South) and 105 cubits long (East and West)—5 cubits projecting into the eastern square. The ascent to the temple-porch was by 10 steps (Eze 40:49; Septuagint, the Revised Version margin). The temple itself was a building consisting, like Solomon’s, of three parts—a porch at the entrance, 20 cubits (30 ft.) broad by 12 cubits (18 ft.) deep (so most, following the Septuagint, as required by the other measurements); the holy place or hekhal, 40 cubits (60 ft.) long by 20 cubits (30 ft.) broad; and the most holy place, 20 cubits by 20 (Eze 40:48,49; 41:1-4); the measurements are internal. At the sides of the porch stood two pillars (Eze 40:49), corresponding to the Jachin and Boaz of the older Temple. The holy and the most holy places were separated by a partition 2 cubits in thickness (Eze 41:3; so most interpret). The most holy place was empty; of the furniture of the holy place mention is made only of an altar of wood (Eze 41:22; see ALTAR, sec. A, III, 7; B, III, 3). Walls and doors were ornamented with cherubim and palm trees (Eze 41:18,25). The wall of the temple building was 6 cubits (9 ft.) in thickness (Eze 41:5), and on the north, south, and west sides, as in Solomon’s Temple, there were side-chambers in three stories, 30 in number (Eze 41:6; in each story?), with an outer wall 5 cubits (7 1/2 ft.) in thickness (Eze 41:9). These chambers were, on the basement, 4 cubits broad; in the 2nd and 3rd stories, owing, as in the older Temple, to rebatements in the wall, perhaps 5 and 6 cubits broad respectively (Eze 41:6,7; in Solomon’s Temple the side-chambers were 5, 6, and 7 cubits, 1Ki 6:6). These dimensions give a total external breadth to the house of 50 cubits (with a length of 100 cubits), leaving 5 cubits on either side and in the front as a passage round the edge of the platform on which the building stood (described as "that which was left") (Eze 41:9,11). The western end, as far as the outer wall, was occupied, the whole breadth of the inner court, by a large building (Eze 41:12); all but a passage of 20 cubits (30 ft.) between it and the temple, belonging to what is termed "the separate place" (gizrah, Eze 41:12,13, etc.). The temple-platform being only 60 cubits broad, there remained a space of 20 cubits (30 ft.) on the north and south sides, running the entire length of the platform; this, continued round the back, formed the gizrah, or "separate place" just named. Beyond the gizrah for 50 cubits (75 ft.) were other chambers, apparently in two rows, the inner 100 cubits, the outer 50 cubits, long, with a walk of 10 cubits between (Eze 42:1-14; the passage, however, is obscure; some, as Keil, place the "walk" outside the chambers). These chambers were assigned to the priests for the eating of "the most holy things" (Eze 42:13).


Such, in general, was the sanctuary of the prophet’s vision, the outer and inner courts of which, and, crowning all, the temple itself, rising in successive terraces, presented to his inner eye an imposing spectacle which, in labored description, he seeks to enable his readers likewise to visualize.


I. Introductory.

1. The Decree of Cyrus:

Forty-eight years after Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of the first Temple, the Babylonian empire came to an end (538 BC), and Persia became dominant under Cyrus. In the year following, Cyrus made a decree sanctioning the return of the Jews, and ordering the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem (2Ch 36:23; Ezr 1:1-4). He not only caused the sacred vessels of the old Temple to be restored, but levied a tax upon his western provinces to provide materials for the building, besides what was offered willingly (Ezr 1:6-11; 6:3 ). The relatively small number of exiles who chose to return for this work (40,000) were led by Sheshbazzar, "the prince of Judah" (Ezr 1:11), whom some identify with Zerubbabel, likewise named "governor of Judah" (Hag 1:1). With these, if they were distinct was associated Joshua the high priest (in Ezra and Nehemiah called "Jeshua").

2. Founding of the Temple:

The first work of Joshua and Zerubbabel was the building of the altar on its old site in the 7th month of the return (Ezr 3:3 ). Masons and carpenters were engaged for the building of the house, and the Phoenicians were requisitioned for cedar wood from Lebanon (Ezr 3:7). In the 2nd year the foundations of the temple were laid with dignified ceremonial, amid rejoicing, and the weeping of the older men, who remembered the former house (Ezr 3:8-13).

3. Opposition and Completion of the Work:

The work soon met with opposition from the mixed population of Samaria, whose offer to join it had been refused; hostile representations, which proved successful, were made to the Persian king; from which causes the building was suspended about 15 years, till the 2nd year of Darius Hystaspis (520 BC; Ezr 4). On the other hand, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah stimulated the flagging zeal of the builders, and, new permission being obtained, the work was resumed, and proceeded so rapidly that in 516 BC the temple was completed, and was dedicated with joy (Ezr 5; 6).

II. The Temple Structure.

1. The House:

Few details are available regarding this temple of Zerubbabel. It stood on the ancient site, and may have been influenced in parts of its plan by the descriptions of the temple in Ezekiel. The inferiority to the first Temple, alluded to in Ezr 3:12 and Hag 2:3, plainly cannot refer to its size, for its dimensions as specified in the decree of Cyrus, namely, 60 cubits in height, and 60 cubits in breadth (Ezr 6:3; there is no warrant for confining the 60 cubits of height to the porch only; compare Josephus, Ant, XI, i), exceed considerably those of the Temple of Solomon (side-chambers are no doubt included in the breadth). The greater glory of the former Temple can only refer to adornment, and to the presence in it of objects wanting in the second. The Mishna declares that the second temple lacked five things present in the first—the ark, the sacred fire, the shekhinah, the Holy Spirit, and the Urim and Thummim (Yoma’, xxi.2).

2. Its Divisions and Furniture:

The temple was divided, like its predecessor, into a holy and a most holy place, doubtless in similar proportions. In 1 Macc 1:22 mention is made of the "veil" between the two places. The most holy place, as just said, was empty, save for a stone on which the high priest, on the great Day of Atonement, placed his censer (Yoma’ v.2). The holy place had its old furniture, but on the simpler scale of the tabernacle—a golden altar of incense, a single table of shewbread, one 7-branched candlestick. These were taken away by Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc 1:21,22). At the cleansing of the sanctuary after its profanation by this prince, they were renewed by Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 4:41 ff). Judas pulled down also the old desecrated altar, and built a new one (1 Macc 4:44 ff).

3. Its Courts, Altar, etc.:

The second temple had two courts—an outer and an inner (1 Macc 4:38,48; 9:54; Josephus, Ant, XIV, xvi, 2)—planned apparently on the model of those in Ezekiel. A.R.S. Kennedy infers from the measurements in the Haram that "the area of the great court of the second temple, before it was enlarged by Herod on the South and East, followed that of Ezekiel’s outer court—that is, it measured 500 cubits each way with the sacred rock precisely in the center" (Expository Times, XX, 182). The altar on this old Sakhra site—the first thing of all to be "set on its base" (Ezr 3:3)—is shown by 1 Macc 4:47 and a passage quoted by Josephus from Hecataeus (Apion, I, xxii) to have been built of unhewn stones. Hecataeus gives its dimensions as a square of 20 cubits and 10 cubits in height. There seems to have been free access to this inner court till the time of Alexander Janneus (104-78 BC), who, pelted by the crowd as he sacrificed, fenced off the part of the court in front of the altar, so that no layman could come farther (Josephus, Ant, XIII, xiii, 5). The courts were colonnaded (Ant., XI, iv, 7; XIV, xvi, 2), and, with the house, had numerous chambers (compare Ne 12:44; 13:4 ff, etc.).

A brief contemporary description of this Temple and its worship is given in Aristeas, 83-104. This writer’s interest, however, was absorbed chiefly by the devices for carrying away the sacrificial blood and by the technique of the officiating priests.

4. Later Fortunes:

The vicissitudes of this temple in its later history are vividly recorded in 1 Maccabees and in Josephus. In Ecclesiasticus 50 is given a glimpse of a certain Simon, son of Onias, who repaired the temple, and a striking picture is furnished of the magnificence of the worship in his time. The desecration and pillaging of the sanctuary by Antiochus, and its cleansing and restoration under Judas are alluded to above (see HASMONEANS; MACCABAEUS). At length Judea became an integral part of the Roman empire. In 66 BC Pompey, having taken the temple-hill, entered the most holy place, but kept his hands off the temple-treasures (Ant., XIV, iv, 4). Some years later Crassus carried away everything of value he could find (Ant., XIV, vii, 1). The people revolted, but Rome remained victorious. This brings us to the time of Herod, who was nominated king of Judea by Rome in 39 BC, but did not attain actual power until two years later.


I. Introductory.

1. Initiation of the Work:

Herod became king de facto by the capture of Jerusalem in 37 BC. Some years later he built the fortress Antonia to the North of the temple (before 31 BC). Midway in his reign, assigning a religious motive for his purpose, he formed the project of rebuilding the temple itself on a grander scale (Josephus gives conflicting dates; in Ant, XV, xi, 1, he says "in his 18th year"; in BJ, I, xxi, 1, he names his 15th year; the latter date, as Schurer suggests (GJV4, I 369), may refer to the extensive preparations). To allay the distrust of his subjects, he undertook that the materials for the new building should be collected before the old was taken down; he likewise trained 1,000 priests to be masons and carpenters for work upon the sanctuary; 10,000 skilled workmen altogether were employed upon the task. The building was commenced in 20-19 BC. The naos, or temple proper, was finished in a year and a half, but it took 8 years to complete the courts and cloisters. The total erection occupied a much longer time (compare Joh 2:20, "Forty and six years," etc.); indeed the work was not entirely completed till 64 AD-6 years before its destruction by the Romans.

2. Its Grandeur:

Built of white marble, covered with heavy plates of gold in front and rising high above its marble-cloistered courts—themselves a succession of terraces—the temple, compared by Josephus to a snow-covered mountain (BJ, V, v, 6), was a conspicuous and dazzling object from every side. The general structure is succinctly described by G. A. Smith: "Herod’s temple consisted of a house divided like its predecessor into the Holy of Holies, and the Holy Place; a porch; an immediate fore-court with an altar of burnt offering; a Court of Israel; in front of this a Court of Women; and round the whole of the preceding, a Court of the Gentiles" (Jerusalem, II, 502). On the "four courts," compare Josephus, Apion, II, viii.

3. Authorities:

The original authorities on Herod’s temple are chiefly the descriptions in Josephus (Ant., XV, xi, 3, 5; BJ, V, v, etc.), and the tractate Middoth in the Mishna. The data in these authorities, however, do not always agree. The most helpful modern descriptions, with plans, will be found, with differences in details, in Keil, Biblical Archaeology, I, 187 ff; in Fergusson, Temples of the Jews; in the articles "Temple" in HDB (T. Witton Davies) and Encyclopedia Biblica (G. H. Box); in the important series of papers by A. R. S. Kennedy in The Expository Times (vol XX), "Some Problems of Herod’s Temple" (compare his article "Temple" in one-vol DB); in Sanday’s Sacred Sites of the Gospels (Waterhouse); latterly in G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 499 ff.

4. Measurements:

Differences of opinion continue as to the sacred cubit. A. R. S. Kennedy thinks the cubit can be definitely fixed at 17,6 inches. (Expostory Times, XX, 24 ff); G. A. Smith reckons it at 20,67 inches. (Jerusalem, II, 504); T. Witton Davies estimates it at about 18 in. (HDB, IV, 713), etc. W. S. Caldecott takes the cubit of Josephus and the Middoth to be 1 1/5 ft. It will suffice in this sketch to treat the cubit, as before, as approximately equivalent to 18 inches.

II. The Temple and Its Courts.

1. Temple Area—Court of Gentiles:

Josephus states that the area of Herod’s temple was double that of its predecessor (BJ, I, xxi, 1). The Mishna (Mid., ii.2) gives the area as 500 cubits (roughly 750 ft.); Josephus (Ant., XV, xi, 3) gives it as a stadium (about 600 Greek ft.); but neither measure is quite exact. It is generally agreed that on its east, west and south sides Herod’s area corresponded pretty nearly with the limits of the present Haram area (see JERUSALEM), but that it did not extend as far North as the latter (Kennedy states the difference at about 26 as compared with 35 acres, and makes the whole perimeter to be about 1,420 yards, ut supra, 66). The shape was an irregular oblong, broader at the North than at the South. The whole was surrounded by a strong wall, with several gates, the number and position of some of which are still matters of dispute. Josephus mentions four gates on the West (Ant., XV, xi, 5), the principal of which, named in Mid., i.3, "the gate of Kiponos," was connected by a bridge across the Tyropoeon with the city (where now is Wilson’s Arch). The same authority speaks of two gates on the South. These are identified with the "Huldah" (mole) gates of the Mishna—the present Double and Triple Gates—which, opening low down in the wall, slope up in tunnel fashion into the interior of the court. The Mishna puts a gate also on the north and one on the east side. The latter may be represented by the modern Golden Gate—a Byzantine structure, now built up. This great court—known later as the "Court of the Gentiles," because open to everyone—was adorned with splendid porticos or cloisters. The colonnade on the south side—known as the Royal Porch—was specially magnificent. It consisted of four rows of monolithic marble columns—162 in all—with Corinthian capitals, forming three aisles, of which the middle was broader and double the height of the other two. The roofing was of carved cedar. The north, west, and east sides had only double colonnades. That on the east side was the "Solomon’s Porch" of the New Testament (Joh 10:23; Ac 3:11; 5:19). There were also chambers for officials, and perhaps a place of meeting for the Sanhedrin (beth din) (Josephus places this elsewhere). In the wide spaces of this court took place the buying and selling described in the Gospels (Mt 21:12 and parallel’s; Joh 2:13 ff).

2. Inner Sanctuary Inclosure:

(1) Wall, "Chel," "Coregh," Gates.

In the upper or northerly part of this large area, on a much higher level, bounded likewise by a wall, was a second or inner enclosure—the "sanctuary" in the stricter sense (Josephus, BJ, V, v, 2)—comprising the court of the women, the court of Israeland the priests’ court, with the temple itself (Josephus, Ant, XV, xi, 5). The surrounding wall, according to Josephus (BJ, V, v, 2), was 40 cubits high on the outside, and 25 on the inside—a difference of 15 cubits; its thickness was 5 cubits. Since, however, the inner courts were considerably higher than the court of the women, the difference in height may have been some cubits less in the latter than in the former (compare the different measurements in Kennedy, ut supra, 182), a fact which may explain the difficulty felt as to the number of the steps in the ascent (see below). Round the wall without, at least on three sides (some except the West), at a height of 12 (Mid.) or 14 (Jos) steps, was an embankment or terrace, known as the chel (fortification), 10 cubits broad (Mid. says 6 cubits high), and enclosing the whole was a low balustrade or stone parapet (Josephus says 3 cubits high) called the coregh, to which were attached at intervals tablets with notices in Greek and Latin, prohibiting entry to foreigners on pain of death (see PARTITION, THE MIDDLE WALL OF). From within the coregh ascent was made to the level of the chel by the steps aforesaid, and five steps more led up to the gates (the reckoning is probably to the lower level of the women’s court). Nine gates, with two-storied gatehouses "like towers" (Josephus, BJ, V, v, 3), are mentioned, four on the North, four on the South, and one on the East—the last probably to be identified, though this is still disputed (Waterhouse, etc.), with the "Gate of Nicanor" (Mid.), or "Corinthian Gate" (Jos), which is undoubtedly "the Beautiful Gate" of Ac 3:2,10 (see for identification, Kennedy, ut supra, 270). This principal gate received its names from being the gift of a wealthy Alexandrian Jew, Nicanor, and from its being made of Corinthian brass. It was of great size—50 cubits high and 40 cubits wide—and was richly adorned, its brass glittering like gold (Mid., ii.3). See BEAUTIFUL GATE. The other gates were covered with gold and silver (Josephus, BJ, V, v, 3).

(2) Court of the Women.

The eastern gate, approached from the outside by 12 steps (Mid., ii.3; Maimonides), admitted into the court of the women, so called because it was accessible to women as well as to men. Above its single colonnades were galleries reserved for the use of women. Its dimensions are given in the Mishna as 135 cubits square (Mid., ii.5), but this need not be precise. At its four corners were large roofless rooms for storage and other purposes. Near the pillars of the colonnades were 13 trumpet-shaped boxes for receiving the money-offerings of the people (compare the incident of the widow’s mite, Mr 12:41 ff; Lu 21:1 ff); for which reason, and because this court seems to have been the place of deposit of the temple-treasures generally, it bore the name "treasury" (gazophulakion, Joh 8:20).


(3) Inner Courts: Court of Israel; Court of the Priests:

From the women’s court, the ascent was made by 15 semicircular steps (Mid., ii.5; on these steps the Levites chanted, and beneath them their instruments were kept) to the inner court, comprising, at different levels, the court of Israel and the court of the priests. Here, again, at the entrance, was a lofty, richly ornamented gate, which some, as said, prefer to regard as the Gate of Nicanor or Beautiful Gate. Probably, however, the view above taken, which places this gate at the outer entrance, is correct. The Mishna gives the total dimensions of the inner court as 187 cubits long (East to West) and 135 cubits wide (Mid., ii.6; v.1). Originally the court was one, but disturbances in the time of Alexander Janneus (104-78 BC) led, as formerly told, to the greater part being railed off for the exclusive use of the priests (Josephus, Ant, XIII, xiii, 5). In the Mishna the name "court of the priests" is used in a restricted sense to denote the space—11 cubits—between the altar and "the court of Israel" (see the detailed measurements in Mid., v.1). The latter—"the court of Israel"—2 1/2 cubits lower than "the court of the priests," and separated from it by a pointed fence, was likewise a narrow strip of only 11 cubits (Mid., ii.6; v.1). Josephus, with more probability, carries the 11 cubits of the "court of Israel" round the whole of the temple-court (BJ, V, vi). Waterhouse (Sacred Sites, 112) thinks 11 cubits too small for a court of male Israelites, and supposes a much larger enclosure, but without warrant in the authorities (compare Kennedy, ut supra, 183; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 508 ff).

(4) The Altar, etc.

In the priests’ court the principal object was the great altar of burnt offering, situated on the old site—the Sakhra—immediately in front of the porch of the temple (at 22 cubits distance—the space "between the temple and the altar" of Mt 23:35). The altar, according to the Mishna (Mid., iii.1), was 32 cubits square, and, like Ezekiel’s, rose in stages, each diminishing by a cubit: one of 1 cubit in height, three of 5 cubits, which, with deduction of another cubit for the priests to walk on, left a square of 24 cubits at the top. It had four horns. Josephus, on the other hand, gives 50 cubits for the length and breadth, and 15 cubits for the height of the altar (BJ, V, v, 6)—his reckoning perhaps including a platform (a cubit high?) from which the height is taken (see ALTAR). The altar was built of unhewn stones, and had on the South a sloping ascent of like material, 32 cubits in length and 16 in width. Between temple and altar, toward the South, stood the "laver" for the priests. In the court, on the north side, were rings, hooks, and tables, for the slaughtering, flaying and suspending of the sacrificial victims.

3. The Temple Building:

(1) House and Porch.

Yet another flight of 12 steps, occupying most of the space between the temple-porch and the altar, led up to the platform (6 cubits high) on which stood the temple itself. This magnificent structure, built, as said before, of blocks of white marble, richly ornamented with gold on front and sides, exceeded in dimensions and splendor all previous temples. The numbers in the Mishna and in Josephus are in parts discrepant, but the general proportions can readily be made out. The building with its platform rose to the height of 100 cubits (150 ft.; the 120 cubits in Josephus, Ant, XV, xi, 3, is a mistake), and was 60 cubits (90 ft.) wide. It was fronted by a porch of like height, but with wings extending 20 cubits (30 ft.) on each side of the temple, making the total breadth of the vestibule 100 cubits (150 ft.) also. The depth of the porch was 10 or 11 cubits; probably at the wings 20 cubits (Jos). The entrance, without doors, was 70 cubits high and 25 cubits wide (Mid. makes 40 cubits high and 20 wide). Above it Herod placed a golden eagle, which the Jews afterward pulled down (Ant., XVII, vi, 3). The porch was adorned with gold.

(2) "Hekhal" and "Debhir".

Internally, the temple was divided, as before, into a holy place (hekhal) and a most holy (debhir)—the former measuring, as in Solomon’s Temple, 40 cubits (60 ft.) in length, and 20 cubits (30 ft.) in breadth; the height, however, was double that of the older Temple—60 cubits (90 ft.; thus Keil, etc., following Josephus, BJ, V, v, 5). Mid., iv.6, makes the height only 40 cubits; A. R. S. Kennedy and G. A. Smith make the debhir a cube—20 cubits in height only. In the space that remained above the holy places, upper rooms (40 cubits) were erected. The holy place was separated from the holiest by a partition one cubit in thickness, before which hung an embroidered curtain or "veil"—that which was rent at the death of Jesus (Mt 27:51 and parallel’s; Mid., iv.7, makes two veils, with a space of a cubit between them). The Holy of Holies was empty; only a stone stood, as in the temple of Zerubbabel, on which the high priest placed his censer on the Day of Atonement (Mishna, Yoma’, v.2). In the holy place were the altar of incense, the table of shewbread (North), and the seven-branched golden candlestick (South). Representations of the two latter are seen in the carvings on the Arch of Titus (see SHEWBREAD, TABLE OF; CANDLESTICK, THE GOLDEN). The spacious entrance to the holy place had folding doors, before which hung a richly variegated Babylonian curtain. Above the entrance was a golden vine with clusters as large as a man (Josephus, Ant, XV, xi, 3; BJ, V, v, 4).

(3) The Side-Chambers.

The walls of the temple appear to have been 5 cubits thick, and against these, on the North, West, and South, were built, as in Solomon’s Temple, side-chambers in three stories, 60 cubits in height, and 10 cubits in width (the figures, however, are uncertain), which, with the outer walls, made the entire breadth of the house 60 or 70 cubits. Mid., iv.3, gives the number of the chambers as 38 in all. The roof, which Keil speaks of as "sloping" (Bib. Archaeology, I, 199), had gilded spikes to keep off the birds. A balustrade surrounded it 3 cubits high. Windows are not mentioned, but there would doubtless be openings for light into the holy place from above the sidechambers.

III. New Testament Associations of Herod’s Temple.

1. Earlier Incidents:

Herod’s temple figures so prominently in New Testament history that it is not necessary to do more than refer to some of the events of which it was the scene. It was here, before the incense altar, that the aged Zacharias had the vision which assured him that he should not die childless (Lu 1:11 ). Here, in the women’s court, or treasury, on the presentation by Mary, the infant Jesus was greeted by Simeon and Anna (Lu 2:27 ff). In His 12th year the boy Jesus amazed the temple rabbis by His understanding and answers (Lu 2:46 ).

2. Jesus in the Temple: The chronological sequence of the Fourth Gospel depends very much upon the visits of Jesus to the temple at the great festivals (see JESUS CHRIST). At the first of these occurred the cleansing of the temple-court—the court of the Gentiles—from the dealers that profaned it (Joh 2:13 ), an incident repeated at the close of the ministry (Mt 21:12 ff and parallel’s). When the Jews, on the first occasion, demanded a sign, Jesus spoke of the temple of His body as being destroyed and raised up in three days (Joh 2:19), eliciting their retort, "Forty and six years was this temple in building," etc. (Joh 2:20). This may date the occurrence about 27 AD. At the second cleansing He not only drove out the buyers and sellers, but would not allow anyone to carry anything through this part of the temple (Mr 11:15-17). In Joh His zeal flamed out because it was His Father’s house; in Mk, because it was a house of prayer for all nations (compare Isa 56:7). With this non-exclusiveness agrees the word of Jesus to the woman of Samaria: "The hour cometh, when neither in this mountain (in Samaria), nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father" (Joh 4:21). During the two years following His first visit, Jesus repeatedly, at festival times, walked in the temple-courts, and taught and disputed with the Jews. We find Him in Joh 5 at "a feast" (Passover or Purim?); in John 7; 8, at "the feast of tabernacles," where the temple-police were sent to apprehend Him (7:32,45 ff), and where He taught "in the treasury" (8:20); in Joh 10:22 ff, at "the feast of the dedication" in winter, walking in "Solomon’s Porch." His teaching on these occasions often started from some familiar temple scene—the libations of water carried by the priests to be poured upon the altar (Joh 7:37 ), the proselytes (Greeks even) in the great portico (Joh 12:20 ), etc. Of course Jesus, not being of the priestly order, never entered the sanctuary; His teaching took place in the several courts open to laymen, generally in the "treasury" (see Joh 8:20).

3. The Passion-Week:

The first days of the closing week of the life of Jesus—the week commencing with the Triumphal Entry—were spent largely in the temple. Here He spoke many parables (Mt 21; 22 and parallel’s); here He delivered His tremendous arraignment of the Pharisees (Mt 23 and parallel’s); here, as He "sat down over against the treasury," He beheld the people casting in their gifts, and praised the poor widow who cast in her two mites above all who cast in of their abundance (Mr 12:41 ff and parallel’s). It was on the evening of His last day in the temple that His disciples drew His attention to "the goodly stones and offerings" (gifts for adornment) of the building (Lu 21:5 and parallel’s) and heard from His lips the astonishing announcement that the days were coming—even in that generation—in which there should not be left one stone upon another (Lu 21:6 and parallel’s). The prediction was fulfilled to the letter in the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 AD.

4. Apostolic Church:

Seven weeks after the crucifixion the Pentecost of Ac 2 was observed. The only place that fulfils the topographical conditions of the great gatherings is Solomon’s Porch. The healing of the lame man (Ac 3:1 ) took place at the "door .... called Beautiful" of the temple, and the multitude after the healing ran together into "Solomon’s Porch" or portico (Ac 3:11). Where also were the words of Lu 24:53, they "were continually in the temple, blessing God," and after Pentecost (Ac 2:46), "day by day, continuing stedfastly .... in the temple," etc., so likely to be fulfilled? For long the apostles continued the methods of their Master in daily teaching in the temple (Ac 4:1 ). Many years later, when Paul visited Jerusalem for the last time, he was put in danger of his life from the myriads of Jewish converts "all zealous for the law" (Ac 21:20), who accused him of profaning the temple by bringing Greeks into its precincts, i.e. within the coregh (Ac 21:28-30). But Christianity had now begun to look farther afield than the temple. Stephen, and after him Saul, who became Paul, preached that "the Most High dwelleth not in houses made with hands" (Ac 7:48; 17:24), though Paul himself attended the temple for ceremonial and other purposes (Ac 21:26).

5. The Temple in Christian Thought:

From the time that the temple ceased to exist, the Talmud took its place in Jewish estimation; but it is in Christianity rather than in Judaism that the temple has a perpetual existence. The New Testament writers make no distinction between one temple and another. It is the idea rather than the building which is perpetuated in Christian teaching. The interweaving of temple associations with Christian thought and life runs through the whole New Testament. Jesus Himself supplied the germ for this development in the word He spoke concerning the temple of His body (Joh 2:19,21). Paul, notwithstanding all he had suffered from Jews and Jewish Christians, remained saturated with Jewish ideas and modes of thought. In one of his earliest Epistles he recognizes the "Jerus that is above" as "the mother of us all" (Ga 4:26 the King James Version). In another, the "man of sin" is sitting "in the temple of God" (2Th 2:4). The collective church (1Co 3:16,17), but also the individual believer (1Co 6:19), is a temple. One notable passage shows how deep was the impression made upon Paul’s mind by the incident connected with Trophimus the Ephesian (Ac 21:29). That "middle wall of partition" which so nearly proved fatal to him then was no longer to be looked for in the Christian church (Eph 2:14), which was "a holy temple" in the Lord (Eph 2:21). It is naturally in the Epistle to the Hebrews that we have the fullest exposition of ideas connected with the temple, although here the form of allusion is to the tabernacle rather than the temple (see TABERNACLE; compare Westcott on Hebrews, 233 ff). The sanctuary and all it included were but representations of heavenly things. Finally, in Revelation, the vision is that of the heavenly temple itself (11:19). But the church—professing Christendom?—is a temple measured by God’s command (11:1,2 ff). The climax is reached in 21:22-23: "I saw no temple therein (i.e. in the holy city): for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof .... and the lamp thereof is the Lamb." Special ordinances are altogether superseded.


In general on the temples see Keil, Biblical Archaeology, I, in which the older literature is mentioned; Fergusson, Temples of the Jews; Comms. on K, Chronicles, Ezr, Neh, and Ezk; articles in the dicts. and encs (DB, HDB, EB); G. A. Smith, Jerusalem and similar works. On Solomon’s Temple, compare Benzinger, Heb. Archaologie. On Ezekiel’s temple, see Skinner’s "Book of Ezekiel" in Expositor’s Bible. On Zerubbabel’s temple, compare W. Shaw Caldecott, The Second Temple in Jerusalem. The original authorities on Herod’s temple are chiefly Josephus, Ant, XV, xi, and BJ, V, v; and the Mishna, Middoth, ii (this section of the Middoth, from Barclay’s Talmud, may be seen in App. I of Fergusson’s work above named). The German literature is very fully given in Schurer, HJP, I, 1, 438 ff (GJV4, I, 392 f). See also the articles of A. R. S. Kennedy in Expository Times, XX, referred to above, and P. Waterhouse, in Sanday, Sacred Sites of the Gospels, 106 ff. On symbolism, compare Westcott, Hebrews, 233 ff. See also articles in this Encyclopedia on parts, furniture, and utensils of the temple, under their several headings.

W. Shaw Caldecott

James Orr




1. Second Version Not a Facsimile of First

2. The Two Versions Differ as to the Builder

3. The Earlier Version Silent about Things Recorded in Later Version


1. Reason for Interdicting David’s Purpose to Build a Temple

2. Impossibility of David in His Old Age Collecting Materials Enumerated by the Chronicler

3. Supernaturally Received Pattern of the Temple Said to Have Been Given by David to Solomon

4. Alleged Organization of the Temple-Service by David

5. Assertion by Solomon That the Temple Would Be Used as a Central Sanctuary



Modern criticism does not challenge the existence of a Solomonic Temple on Mt. Moriah, as it does that of a Mosaic tabernacle in the wilderness. Only it maintains that historic value belongs exclusively to the narrative in Kings, while the statements in Chronicles are pure ornamentation or ecclesiastical trimming dating from post-exilic times. All that is true about the Temple, says criticism, is

(1) that David originally, i.e. on coming to the throne of all Israel, contemplated erecting such a structure upon Araunah’s threshing-floor, but was prohibited from doing so by Nathan, who at first approved of his design but was afterward directed by Yahweh to stay the king’s hand, and to inform the king that the work of building a house for Yahweh to dwell in was not to be his (the king’s) task and privilege but his son’s, and that as a solatium for his disappointment Yahweh would build him a house, by establishing the throne of his kingdom forever (2Sa 7:4-17);

(2) that after David’s death Solomon called to mind the pious purpose of his father of which he had been informed and the express promise of Yahweh that David’s successor on the throne should execute that purpose, and accordingly resolved to "build a house for the name of Yahweh his God" (1Ki 5:3-5); and

(3) that 7 1/2 years were employed in the work of construction, after which the finished Temple was dedicated in the presence of the congregation of Israel, with their princes, priests and Levites, in a speech which rehearsed the fact that David had intended to build the house but was prevented, and with a prayer which once more connected the Temple with the pious intention of David (1Ki 8:18-20).

All the rest is simply embellishment (Wellhausen, GI, 181-92; article "Temple" in EB):

(1) that David’s purpose to build the Temple was interdicted because he had been a man of war and had shed blood (1Ch 28:3), which in Wellhausen’s judgment should rather have been a qualification for the business;

(2) that David in his old and feeble age made elaborate preparations for the construction of the house he was not to see—which, again writes Wellhausen, was like "making the bread so far ready that his son only required to shove it into the oven";

(3) that David gave to his son Solomon the pattern of the house in all its details as the Lord had caused him to understand in writing ("black upon white," as Wellhansen expresses it) by His (the Lord’s) hand upon him—which was different from the way in which Moses received instruction about the tabernacle, namely, by a pattern shown to him in the Mount, and carried in his recollection;

(4) that David before his death arranged all the musical service for the Temple, invented musical instruments, appointed all the officers to be associated with the Temple priests, Levites, porters and singers, distributing them in classes and assigning them their duties by lot (1Ch 23:2-26; 2Ch 8:12-16)—exactly as these things were afterward arranged in the second or post-exilic temple and were now carried back to David as the legislation of the Priestly Code was assigned to Moses; and

(5) that David’s son Solomon assures Hiram (the Revised Version (British and American) "Huram") that the Temple will be used as a central sanctuary "to burn before him (Yahweh) incense of sweet spices, and for the continual showbread, and for the burnt-offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts of Yahweh our God" (2Ch 2:3 ), i.e. for divine service, which, according to criticism, was of post-exilic origin.

The questions that now fall to be considered are: (1) whether the statements of the Chronicler are inconsistent with those in the Books of Samuel and Kings; and (2) if not, whether they are in themselves such as to be incredible.

I. Alleged Want of Harmony between Earlier (K) and Later (Ch) Versions of Temple Building.

1. Second Version Not a Facsimile of First

It does not seem reasonable to hold that this has been established. The circumstance that the second account is not a facsimile of the first does not warrant the conclusion that the first alone is fact and the second fiction. It is quite conceivable that both might be true. David might have had it in his mind, as the first account states and the second acknowledges, to build a house for Yahweh, and yet not have been able to carry his purpose into effect, and have been obliged to hand over its execution to his son. David, moreover, might have been hindered by Yahweh (through His prophet Nathan) from building the Temple for more reasons than one—because the proposal was premature, God having it in His mind to build a house for David, i.e. to establish his dynasty, before requiring a permanent habitation for Himself; and also because the time was unpropitious, David having still much to do in the subjugation of his country’s enemies; and because it was more fitting that a temple for the God of Peace should not be erected by one who had been a man of war from his youth. The first of these reasons is stated in Samuel, the second and third are recorded in Chronicles.

2. The Two Versions Differ as to the Builder

The earlier version does not say that David built the house; but that his son was to do it, and this the later version does not contradict; the later version does not claim that the idea originated with Solomon, but ascribes it to David, precisely as the earlier version does. In this there is no disharmony, but rather underlying harmony. Both versions assert that David purposed and that Solomon performed, in which surely there is perfect agreement.

3. The Earlier Version Silent about Things Recorded in Later Version

The silence of the earlier version about the things recorded in the later version, such as the preparation of material and the organization of the Temple-service, does not prove that these things were not known to the author of the earlier version, or had not taken place when he wrote. No writer is obliged to cram into his pages all he knows, but only to insert as much of his information as will subserve his aim in writing. Nor does his omission to set down in his narrative this or that particular fact or incident amount to a demonstration that the unrecorded fact or incident had not then occurred or was not within his cognizance. Least of all is it expected that a writer of civil history shall fill his pages with details that are purely or chiefly ecclesiastical. In short, if the omission from Kings of David’s preparations and arrangement for the Temple testifies that no such preparations or arrangements were made, the omission from Chronicles of David’s sin with Bath-sheba and of Nathan’s parable of the Ewe Lamb should certify that either these things never happened or they were not known after the exile. It is usual to say they were purposely left out because it was the Chronicler’s intention to encircle David with a nimbus of glory (Wellhausen), but this is simply critical hypothesis, the truth of which is disputed. On critical principles either these incidents in David’s life were not true or the Chronicler was not aware of them. But the Chronicler had as one main source for his composition "the earlier historical books from Genesis to Kings" (Driver), and "the tradition of the older source only has historical value" (Wellhausen).

II. Detailed Objections against Chronicler’s Account.

1. Reason for Interdicting David’s Purpose to Build a Temple

Examining now in detail the abovestated objections, we readily see that they are by no means so formidable as at first sight they look, and certainly do not prove the Chronicler’s account to be incredible. That David’s purpose to build a temple should have been interdicted because he had been a man of war and had shed blood appears to Wellhausen to be a watermark of non-historicity. Benzinger in Encyclopedia Biblica (art. "Temple") goes beyond this and says "There is no historical probablity David had thoughts of building a temple." But if David never thought of building a temple, then not only was the Chronicler mistaken in making Solomon say (2Ch 6:7) that it was in the heart of his father so to do, but he was chargeable with something worse in making the Lord say to David, "Whereas it was in thy heart to build a house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thy heart" (2Ch 6:8), unless he was absolutely certain that the statement was true—which it was not if Benzinger may be relied on.

Nor is it merely the Chronicler whose character for intelligence and piety suffers, if David never thought of building a temple; the reputation of the author or authors of Samuel and Kings must also go, since they both declare that David did entertain the purpose which Benzinger denies (2Sa 7:2; 1Ki 5:3); and an impartial reasoner will hesitate before he sacrifices the good name even of two unknown ancient writers at the ipse dixit of any modern scholar.

We may therefore limit our remarks to Wellhausen’s objection and reply that the reason assigned by Chronicles for prohibiting David from carrying out his purpose, namely, that he had been a man of war, might have been an argument for permitting him to do so, or at least for his seeking to do so, had his object been to erect a monument to his own glory or a thank offering to God for the victories he had won; but not if the Temple was designed to be a habitation wherein God might dwell among His people to receive their worship and bless them with His grace. Strange as it may seem (Winer) that David should have been debarred from carrying out his purpose for the reason assigned, yet there was reason in the interdict, for not only was it fitting that peaceful works should be carried out by peaceful hands (Merz in PRE2), but David’s vocation was not temple-building but empire-building (to use a modern phrase); and many campaigns lay before him ere the leisure could be found or the land could be ready for the execution of his sacred design.

2. Impossibility of David in His Old Age Collecting Materials Enumerated by the Chronicler

That David in his old and feeble age could not possibly have collected all the materials enumerated by 1Ch 29 might possibly have been true, had David been an impecunious chieftain and had he only in the last years of his life commenced to amass treasure. But David was a powerful and wealthy eastern potentate and a valiant warrior besides, who had conquered numerous tribes, Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, Edomites and Ammonites, and had acquired from his victories large spoil, which from an early stage in his career he had been accustomed to dedicate to the Lord (2Sa 8:11). Hence, it is little better than trifling to put forward as an inherent mark of incredibility the statement that David in his old age could not have made extensive and costly preparations for the building of the Temple—all the more that according to the narrative he was assisted by "the princes of the fathers’ houses, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers over the king’s work," and "the people" generally, who all "offered willingly for the service of the house of God."

No doubt the value in sterling money of these preparations is enormous—the gold and silver alone being variously reckoned at 8 (Keil), 16 (Bertheau), 81 (Michaelis), 450 (Kautzsch), 1,400 (Rawlinson) millions of pounds—and might reasonably suggest either that the text has become corrupt, or the numbers were originally used loosely to express the idea of an extraordinary amount, or were of set purpose exaggerated. The first of these explanations is adopted by Rawlinson; the second by Berthcan; the third by Wellhausen, who sees in the whole section (1Ch 22-29) "‘a frightful example of the statistical fantasy of the Jews, which delights itself in immense sums of gold upon paper." But even conceding that in each of these explanations a measure of truth may lie, it does not seem justifiable to wipe out as unhistorical and imaginary the main statement of the Chronicler, that David’s preparations were both extensive and costly, all the less that 1Ki 10:14,15 bears witness to the extraordinary wealth of Solomon. whose income is stated to have been 666 talents of gold, or about 3 millions sterling, a year, besides that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffic of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia and of the governors of the country. If David’s annual income was anything like this, and if he had command of all the treasures accumulated in previous years, it does not look so impossible as criticism would make out that David could have prepared for the future Temple as the Chronicler reports.

3. Supernaturally Received Pattern of the Temple Said to Have Been Given by David to Solomon

That David gave to Solomon the pattern of the Temple in a writing which had been prepared by him under direct supernatural guidance can be objected to only by those who deny the possibility of such divine communications being made by God to man. If criticism admits, as it sometimes does, the possibility of both revelation and inspiration, the objection under consideration must fall to the ground. That the method of making David acquainted with the pattern of the Temple was not in all respects the same as that adopted for showing Moses the model of the tabernacle, only proves that the resources of infinite wisdom are not usually exhausted by one effort, and that God is not necessarily tied down to one particular way of uttering His thoughts.

But criticism mostly rejects the idea of the supernatural and accordingly dismisses this statement about the God-given pattern as altogether fanciful—pointing (1) to the fact that similar temples already existed among the Canaanites, as e.g. at Shechem (Jud 9:46) and at Gaza (Jud 16:29), which showed there was no special need for a divinely-prepared plan; and (2) to the circumstance that Solomon fetched Hiram, a Tyrian worker in brass, to assist in the erection of the Temple, which again, it is urged, renders probable the conclusion that at least Phoenician ideas entered into its structure (Duncker, Benzinger). Suppose, however, it were true that the Temple was fashioned on a Phoenician, Canaanite or Egyptian model, that would not disprove the statement that David was guided by divine inspiration in drawing up the outline of the building.

4. Alleged Organization of the Temple-Service by David

That David’s organization of the Temple-service, both as to officers and instruments as to ritual and music, corresponded exactly (or nearly so) with what afterward existed in the second temple can hardly be adduced as a proof of non-historicity, except on the supposition that Chronicles deliberately "transformed the old history into church history" by ascribing to David the holy music and the arrangement of the Temple personals" which belonged to the post-exilic age, precisely as the author or authors of the Priestly Code, which dated from the same age (according to criticism), attributed this to Moses (Wellhausen, GI, 187)—in other words, by stating what was not true in either case, by representing that as having happened which had not happened. Whether this was originally intended to deceive and was a willful fraud, as some hold, and whether it was legitimate then "to do evil that good might come," to persuade men that David organized the musical service which was performed in the second temple in order to secure for it popular acceptance, it may be left to each reader to determine; it must always be wrong to ascribe doubtful practices to good men like the authors of the Priestly Code (P) and of Chronicles unless one is absolutely sure that they were guilty of such practices. Undoubtedly the fair and reasonable thing is to hold that the Chronicler wrote the truth until it is proved that he did not; and for his statement it may be claimed that at least it has this in its favor, that in the earlier sources David is distinctly stated to have been a musician (1Sa 16:23), to have composed a song, Ps 18 (2Sa 22:1), and to have been designated "the sweet psalmist of Israel." No doubt on the critical hypothesis this might explain why the thought occurred to the Chronicler to credit David with the organization of the Temple-service; but without the critical hypothesis it equally accounts for the interest David took in preparing "the music and the personals" for the Temple which his son was to, build. "The tradition that David intended to build a temple and that he reorganized public worship, not forgetting the musical side thereof (compare 2Sa 6:5 with Am 6:5)," says Kittel (The Scientific Study of the Old Testament, 136, English translation), "is not altogether without foundation."

5. Assertion by Solomon That the Temple Would Be Used as a Central Sanctuary

That the Temple-service was carried out in accordance with the regulations of the Priestly Code does not prove that the Chronicles account is unreliable, unless it is certain that the postexilic Priestly Code was an entirely new ritual which had never existed before, which some modern critics do not admit. But, if it was merely, as some maintain, a codification of a cult that existed before, then no sufficient reason exists for holding that Solomon’s Temple was designed to be a private chapel for the king (Benzinger), erected partly out of piety but partly also out of love of splendor and statecraft (Reuss), rather than a central sanctuary for the people. A study of Solomon’s letter to Hiram (2Ch 2:4) shows that the Temple was intended for the concentration of the nation’s sacrificial worship which had up till then been frequently offered at local shrines, though originally meant for celebration at the Mosaic tabernacle—for the burning of sweet incense (Ex 30:1), the offering day by day continually of the burnt offering (Ex 29:39). And though, it is admitted, the letter to Hiram as reported in 1 Kings makes no mention of this intention, yet it is clear from 1Ki 8:62-65, that Solomon, after dedicating the Temple by prayer, used it for this purpose. Wherefore, if Chronicles simply transferred to the consecration of the Temple a ritual that had no existence until after the exile, the author of Kings did the same, which again would destroy Wellhausen’s admission that historical validity attaches to the earlier source. A much more likely supposition is that the ritual reported by both historians was not that of a Priestly Code manufactured for the second temple, but that which had been published by Moses for the tabernacle, in place of which it had come. That local shrines for many years existed alongside of the Temple only proves that Solomon’s original idea was not perfectly carried out either by himself or his people.


The Commentaries of Bertheau and Keil on Chronicles; Reuss. Geschichte der heiligen Schriften des Alten Testaments; articles on "Temple" in Sch-Herz; Riehm. Handworterbuch; HDB; EB; Wellhausen. Prolegomena schichte Israels.

T. Whitelaw




tem’-p’lz (raqqah, "thinness," "upper cheeks"): The original signifies the thinnest part of the skull (Jud 4:21,22; 5:26). In So 4:3; 6:7, the bride’s cheeks are likened to pomegranates because of the rich coloring of a slice of this fruit.


(hierosuloi; the King James Version "robbers of churches," Ac 19:37): To explain this as "sacrilegious persons" is irreconcilable with the contrast in Ro 2:22. In De 7:25, the Jews were commanded entirely to destroy the gold and silver idols, ornaments of the heathen temples. The sin reproved is that of making that a matter of gain which, without regard to its value, they should have destroyed. "Dost thou, who regardest the mere touch of an idol as a horrible defilement, presume to rob their temples?" There is abundant evidence to show that this crime was not unusual. When the town-clerk of Ephesus declares the companions of Paul innocent of such charge, his words imply that the fact that they were Jews rendered them liable to such suspicion. So Josephus goes out of his way (Ant., IV, viii, 10) to deny that Jews ever committed the crime.

H. E. Jacobs


temt, tem-ta’-shun (nacah, "to prove" "try," "tempt" maccah, "a trial," "temptation"; peirazo, "to try" "prove" peirasmos "a trial," "proof"): The words have a sinister connotation in present-day usage which has not always attached to them. Originally the words were of neutral content, with the sense of "putting to the proof," the testing of character or quality. Thus, God is "tempted" by Israel’s distrust of Him, as if the people were actually challenging Him to show His perfections (Ex 17:2; Ps 78:18; Ac 15:10; Heb 3:9, and often); Abraham is "tempted," being called upon to offer up Isaac (Ge 22:1); and Jesus is "tempted" to a spectacular Messiahship (Mt 4 and parallel passages (see TEMPTATION OF CHRIST)). No evil is implied in the subject of these temptations. Temptation therefore in the Scripture sense has possibilities of holiness as well as of sin. For as all experience witnesses, it is one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall. To be tempted—one may rejoice in that (Jas 1:2), since in temptation, by conquering it, one may achieve a higher and nobler manhood.

"Why comes temptation but for man to meet

And master and make crouch beneath his foot,

And so be pedestaled in triumph?"

Holiness in its best estate is possible only under conditions which make it necessary to meet, resist and triumph over temptation. Thus, Jesus Himself became our Great High Priest in that, being tempted in all points like as we are, He never once yielded, but fought and triumphed (Heb 4:15).

One must not deceive one’s self, however, in thinking that, because by the grace of God one may have profit of virtue through temptation as an instrument, all temptation is equally innocent and virtuous. It is noticeable in the case of Jesus that His temptation was under the direction of the Spirit (Mr 1:12); He Himself did not seek it, nor did He fear it. Temptations encountered in this way, the way of duty, the way of the Spirit, alone constitute the true challenge of saintship (Jas 1:12); but it is the mark of an ignoble nature to be perpetually the center of vicious fancies and tempers which are not of God but of the devil (Jas 1:13-15). One may not escape entirely such buffetings of faith, but by any sound nature they are easily disposed of. Not so easily disposed of are the trials (temptations) to faith through adversity, affliction, trouble (Lu 22:28; Ac 20:19; Jas 1:2; 1Pe 1:6); and yet there is no lack of evidence to the consoling fact that God does not suffer His own to be tempted above what they are able to bear (1Co 10:13) and that for every crisis His grace will be sufficient (2Co 12:8,9).

Charles M. Stuart


1. The Sources:

The sources for this event are Mr 1:12,13; Mt 4:1-11; Lu 4:1-13; compare Heb 2:18; 4:15,16, and see GETHSEMANE. Mark is probably a condensation; Mt and Luke have the same source, probably the discourses of Jesus. Matthew is usually regarded as nearest the original, and its order is here followed.

2. Time and Place:

The Temptation is put immediately after the Baptism by all the synoptists, and this is psychologically necessary, as, we shall see. The place was the wilderness; it was "up" from the Jordan valley (Matthew), and was on the way back to Galilee (Luke). The traditional site, Mt. Quarantana, is probably a good guess.

3. Significance:

At His baptism, Jesus received from heaven the final confirmation of His thought that He was the Messiah. It was the greatest conception which ever entered a human mind and left it sane. Under the irresistible influence of the Spirit, He turned aside to seek out in silence and alone the principles which should govern Him in His Messianic work. This was absolutely necessary to any wise prosecution of it. Without the slightest precedent Jesus must determine what a Messiah would do, how He would act. Radical critics agree that, if such a period of meditation and conflict were not recorded, it would have to be assumed. By this conflict, Jesus came to that clearness and decision which characterized His ministry throughout. It is easy to see how this determination of guiding principles involved the severest temptation, and it is noteworthy that all the temptation is represented as coming from without, and none from within. Here too He must take His stand with reference to all the current ideas about the Messiah and His work.

4. The Reporter:

Jesus alone can be the original reporter. To this Holtzmann and J. Weiss agree. The report was given for the sake of the disciples, for the principles wrought out in this conflict are the guiding principles in the whole work of the kingdom of God on earth.

5. Exposition:

(1) Fasting.

Jesus was so intensely absorbed that He forgot to eat. There was nothing ascetic or ritualistic about it, and so this is no example for ascetic fasting for us. It is doubtful whether the text demands absolute abstinence from food; rather, long periods of fasting, and insufficient food when He had it. At the end of the forty days, He woke to the realization that He was a starving man.

(2) The First Temptation.

The first temptation is not a temptation to doubt His Messiahship, nor is the second either. "If thou art the Son of God," i.e. "the Messiah," means, simply, "since thou art the Son of God" (see Burton, Moods and Tenses, sections 244, 245; Robertson, Short Grammar, 161). There was not the slightest doubt on this point in Jesus’ mind after the baptism, and Satan knew it. There is no temptation to prove Himself the Messiah, nor any hint of such a thing in Jesus’ replies. The very point of it all is, How are you going to act, since you are Messiah? (Mt 4:3 parallel Lu 4:3).

The temptation has these elements:

(a) The perfectly innocent craving for food is imperious in the starving man.

(b) Why should He not satisfy His hunger, since He is the Son of God and has the power?

Jesus replies from De 8:3, that God can and will provide Him bread in His own way and in His own time. He is not referring to spiritual food, which is not in question either here or in Deuteronomy (see Broadus’ just and severe remark here). He does not understand how God will provide, but He will wait and trust. Divinely-assured of Messiahship, He knows that God will not let Him perish. Here emerges the principle of His ministry; He will never use His supernatural power to help Himself. Objections based on Lu 4:30 and Joh 10:39 are worthless, as nothing miraculous is there implied. The walking on the water was to help the apostles’ faith. But why would it have been wrong to have used His supernatural power for Himself? Because by so doing He would have refused to share the human lot, and virtually have denied His incarnation. If He is to save others, Himself He cannot save (Mt 27:42). In passing, it is well to notice that "the temptations all turn on the conflict which arises, when one, who is conscious of supernatural power, feels that there are occasions, when it would not be right to exercise it." So the miraculous is here most deeply imbedded in the first principles of Messianic action.

(3) The Second Temptation.

The pinnacle of the temple was probably the southeast corner of the roof of the Royal Cloister, 326 ft. above the bottom of the Kidron valley. The proposition was not to leap from this height into the crowd below in the temple courts, as is usually said, for

(a) there is no hint of the people in the narrative;

(b) Jesus reply does not fit such an idea; it meets another temptation entirely;

(c) this explanation confuses the narrative, making the second temptation a short road to glory like the third;

(d) it seems a fantastic temptation, when it is seriously visualized.

Rather Satan bids Jesus leap into the abyss outside the temple. Why then the temple at all, and not some mountain precipice? asks Meyer. Because it was the sheerest depth well known to the Jews, who had all shuddered as they had looked down into it (Mt 4:5-7 parallel Lu 4:5-8).

The first temptation proved Jesus a man of faith, and the second is addressed to Him as such, asking Him to prove His faith by putting God’s promise to the test. It is the temptation to fanaticism, which has been the destruction of many a useful servant of God Jesus refuses to yield, for yielding would have been sin. It would have been

(a) wicked presumption, as though God must yield to every unreasonable whim of the man, of faith, and so would have been a real "tempting" of God;

(b) it would have denied His incarnation in principle, like the first temptation;

(c) such fanaticism. would have destroyed His ministry.

So the principle was evolved: Jesus will not, of self-will, run into dangers, but will avoid them except in the clear path of duty. He will be no fanatic, running before the Spirit, but will be led by Him in paths of holy sanity and heavenly wisdom. Jesus waited on God.

(4) The Third Temptation.

The former tests have proved Jesus a man of faith and of common sense. Surely such a man will take the short and easy road to that universal dominion which right-fully belongs to the Messiah. Satan offers it, as the prince of this world. The lure here is the desire for power, in itself a right instinct, and the natural and proper wish to avoid difficulty and pain. That the final object is to set up a universal kingdom of God in righteousness adds to the subtlety of the temptation. But as a condition Satan demands that Jesus shall worship him. This must be symbolically interpreted. Such worship as is offered God cannot be meant, for every pious soul would shrink from that in horror, and for Jesus it could constitute no temptation at all. Rather a compromise with Satan must be meant—such a compromise as would essentially be a submission to him. Recalling the views of the times and the course of Jesus ministry, we can think this compromise nothing else than the adoption by Jesus of the program of political Messiahship, with its worldly means of war, intrigue, etc. Jesus repudiates the offer. He sees in it only evil, for

(a) war, especially aggressive war, is to His mind a vast crime against love,

(b) it changes the basis of His kingdom from the spiritual to the external,

(c) the means would defeat the end, and involve Him in disaster.

He will serve God only, and God is served in righteousness. Only means which God approves can be used (Mt 4:8-11 parallel Lu 4:9-13). Here then is the third great principle of the kingdom: Only moral and spiritual means to moral and spiritual ends. He turns away from worldly methods to the slow and difficult way of truth-preaching, which can end only with the cross. Jesus must have come from His temptation with the conviction that His ministry meant a life-and-death struggle with all the forces of darkness.

6. The Character of the Narrative:

As we should expect of Jesus, He throws the story of the inner conflict of His soul into story form. So only could it be understood by all classes of men in all ages. It was a real struggle, but pictorially, symbolically described. This seems to be proved by various elements in the story, namely, the devil can hardly be conceived as literally taking Jesus from place to place. There is no mountain from which all the kingdoms of the world can be seen. This view of the matter relieves all the difficulties.

7. How Could a Sinless Christ be Tempted?:

The difficulty is that there can be no drawing toward an object unless the object seems desirable. But the very fact that a sinful object seems desirable is itself sin. How then can a sinless person really be tempted at all? Possibly an analysis of each temptation will furnish the answer. In each ease the appeal was a real appeal to a perfectly innocent natural instinct or appetite. In the first temptation, it was to hunger; in the second, to faith; in the third, to power as a means of establishing righteousness. In each ease, Jesus felt the tug and pull of the natural instinct; how insistent is the demand of hunger, for instance! Yet, when He perceived that the satisfaction of these desires was sinful under the conditions, He immediately refused their clamorous appeal. It was a glorious moral victory. It was not that He was metaphysically not able to sin, but that He was so pure that He was able not to sin. He did not prove in the wilderness that He could not be tempted, but that He could overcome the tempter. If it is then said that Jesus, never having sinned, can have no real sympathy with sinners, the answer is twofold: (1) Not he who falls at the first assault feels the full force of temptation, but he who, like Jesus, resists it through long years to the end. (2) Only the victor can help the vanquished; only he, who has felt the most dreadful assaults and yet has stood firm, can give the help needed by the fallen.


Broadus on Matthew in the place cited.; Rhees, Life of Jesus of Nazareth, secs. 91-96; Sanday, Outlines of the Life of Christ, section 13; Holtzmann, Hand-Commentar, I, 67 f; J. Weiss, Die Schriften des New Testament, I, 227 f; Weiss, Life of Christ, I, 337-54; Dods, article "Temptation," in DCG; Carvie, Expository Times, X (1898-99).

F. L. Anderson


(‘eser; deka).






1. How Numbered

2. How Grouped

3. Original Form

4. Brief Exegetical Notes



In the Old Testament the Decalogue is uniformly referred to as "the ten words" (Ex 34:28 margin; De 4:13 margin; 10:4 margin), or simply as "the words" spoken by Yahweh (Ex 20:1; 34:27; De 5:22; 10:2), or as "the words of the covenant" (Ex 34:28). In the New Testament they are called "commandments" (Mt 19:17; Eph 6:2), as with us in most Christian lands.

I. The Ten Commandments an Israelite Code.

The "ten words" were spoken by Yahweh to the people whom He had but recently delivered from Egyptian bondage, and then led out into the wilderness, that He might teach them His laws. It was to Israel that the Decalogue was primarily addressed, and not to all mankind. Thus, the reason assigned for keeping the 5th commandment applies to the people who were on their way to the land which had been given to Abraham and his descendants (Ex 20:12); and the 4th commandment is enforced by reference to the servitude in Egypt (De 5:15). It is possible, then, that even in the Ten Commandments there are elements peculiar to the Mosaic system and which our Lord and His apostles may not make a part of faith and duty for Christians.


Of the "ten words," seven were perhaps binding on the consciences of enlightened men prior to the days of Moses: murder, adultery, theft and false witness were already treated as crimes among the Babylonians and the Egyptians; and intelligent men knew that it was wrong to dishonor God by improper use of His name, or to show lack of respect to parents, or to covet the property of another. No doubt the sharp, ringing words in which these evils are forbidden in the Ten Commandments gave to Israel a clearer apprehension of the sins referred to than they had ever had before; and the manner in which they were grouped by the divine speaker brought into bold relief the chief elements of the moral law. But the first two prohibitions were novelties in the religious life of the world; for men worshipped many gods, and bowed down to images of every conceivable kind. The 2nd commandment was too high even for Israel to grasp at that early day; a few weeks later the people were dancing about the golden calf at the foot of Sinai. The observance of the Sabbath was probably unknown to other nations, though it may have been already known in the family of Abraham.

II. The Promulgation of the Decalogue.

The "ten words" were spoken by Yahweh Himself from the top of the mount under circumstances the most awe-inspiring. In the early morning there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud. It is no wonder that the people trembled as they faced the smoking and quaking mount, and listened to the high demands of a holy God. Their request that all future revelations should be made through Moses as the prophet mediator was quite natural. The promulgation of the Ten Commandments stands out as the most notable event in all the wilderness sojourn of Israel. There was no greater day in history before the coming of the Son of God into the world.

After a sojourn of 40 days in the mount, Moses came down with "the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God." At the foot of the mount, when Moses saw the golden calf and the dancing throng about it, he cast the tables out of his hands and broke them in pieces (Ex 31:18; 39:15-20). Through the intercession of Moses, the wrath of Yahweh was averted from Israel; and Yahweh invited Moses to ascend the mount with two new tablets, on which He would write the words that were on the first tables, which were broken. Moses was commanded to write the special precepts given by God during this interview; but the. Ten Commandments were written on the stone tablets by Yahweh Himself (Ex 34:1-4,27-29; De 10:1-5). These precious tablets were later deposited in the ark of the covenant (Ex 40:20). Thus in every way possible the Ten Commandments are exalted as the most precious and directly divine of all the precepts of the Mosaic revelation.

III. Analysis of the Decalogue with Brief Exegetical Notes.

That there were "ten words" is expressly stated (Ex 34:28; De 4:13; 10:4); but just how to delimit them one from another is a task which has not been found easy. For a full discussion of the various theories, see Dillmann, Exodus, 201-5, to whom we are indebted for much that is here set forth.

1. How Numbered:

(1) Josephus is the first witness for the division now common among Protestants (except Lutherans), namely,

(a) foreign gods,

(b) images,

(c) name of God,

(d) Sabbath,

(e) parents,

(f) murder,

(g) adultery,

(h) theft,

(i) false witness,

(j) coveting.

Before him, Philo made the same arrangement, except that he followed the Septuagint in putting adultery before murder. This mode of counting was current with many of the church Fathers, and is now in use in the Greek Catholic church and with most Protestants.

(2) Augustine combined foreign gods and images (Ex 20:2-6) into one commandment and following the order of De 5:21 (Hebrew 18) made the 9th commandment a prohibition of the coveting of a neighbor’s wife, while the 10th prohibits the coveting of his house and other property. Roman Catholics and Lutherans accept Augustine’s mode of reckoning, except that they follow the order in Ex 20:17, so that the 9th commandment forbids the coveting of a neighbor’s house, while the 10th includes his wife and all other property.

(3) A third mode of counting is that adopted by the Jews in the early Christian centuries, which became universal among them in the Middle Ages and so down to the present time. According to this scheme, the opening statement in Ex 20:2 is the "first word," Ex 20:3-6 the second (combining foreign gods with images), while the following eight commandments are as in the common Protestant arrangement.

The division of the prohibition of coveting into two commandments is fatal to the Augustinian scheme; and the reckoning of the initial statement in Ex 20:2 as one of the "ten words" seems equally fatal to the modern Jewish method of counting. The prohibition of images, which is introduced by the solemn formula, "Thou shalt not," is surely a different "word" from the command to worship no god other than Yahweh. Moreover, if nine of the "ten words" are commandments, it would seem reasonable to make the remaining "word" a commandment, if this can be done without violence to the subjectmatter. See Eerdmaus, The Expositor, July, 1909, 21 ff.

2. How Grouped:

(1) The Jews, from Philo to the present, divide the "ten words" into two groups of five each. As there were two tables, it would be natural to suppose that five commandments were recorded on each tablet, though the fact that the tablets had writing on both their sides (Ex 32:15) would seem to weaken the force of the argument for an equal division. Moreover, the first pentad, in the present text of Exodus and Deuteronomy, is more than four times as long as the second.

(2) Augustine supposed that there were three commandments on the first table and seven on the second. According to his method of numbering the commandments, this would put the command to honor parents at the head of the second table, as in the third method of grouping the ten words.

(3) Calvin and many moderns assign four commandments to the first table and six to the second. This has the advantage of assigning all duties to God to the first table and all duties to men to the second. It also accords with our Lord’s reduction of the commandments to two (Mt 22:34-40).

3. Original Form:

A comparison of the text of the Decalogue in De 5 with that in Ex 20 reveals a goodly number of differences, especially in the reasons assigned for the observance of the 4th and 5th commandments, and in the text of the 10th commandment. A natural explanation of these differences is the fact that De employs the free-and-easy style of public discourse. The Ten Commandments are substantially the same in the two passages.

From the days of Ewald to the present, some of the leading Old Testament scholars have held that originally all the commandments were brief and without the addition of any special reasons for their observance. According to this hypothesis, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and the 10th commandments were probably as follows: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image"; "Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh thy God in vain"; "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy"; "Honor thy father and thy mother"; "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house." This early critical theory would account for the differences in the two recensions by supposing that the motives for keeping the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th commandments, as well as the expansion of the 10th, were additions made through the influence of the prophetic teaching. If accompanied by a full recognition of the divine origin of the ten words in the Mosaic era, this hypothesis might be acceptable to a thorough believer in revelation. Before acquiescing in the more radical theories of some recent scholars, such a believer will demand more cogent arguments than the critics have been able to bring forward. Thus when we are told that the Decalogue contains prohibitions that could not have been incorporated into a code before the days of Manasseh, we demand better proofs than the failure of Israel to live up to the high demands of the 2nd and the 10th commandments, or a certain theory of the evolution of the history that may commend itself to the mind of naturalistic critics. Yahweh was at work in the early history of Israel; and the great prophets of the 8th century, far from creating ethical monotheism, were reformers sent to demand that Israel should embody in daily life the teachings of the Torah.

Goethe advanced the view that Ex 34:10-28 originally contained a second decalogue.

Wellhausen (Code of Hammurabi, 331 f) reconstructs this so-called decalogue as follows:

(1) Thou shalt worship no other god (Ex 34:14).

(2) Thou shalt make thee no molten gods (Ex 34:17).

(3) The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep (Ex 34:18 a).

(4) Every firstling is mine (Ex 34:19 a).

(5) Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks (Ex 34:22 a).

(6) And the feast of ingathering at the year’s end (Ex 34:22c).

(7) Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread (Ex 34:25 a).

(8) The fat of my feast shall not remain all night until the morning (23:18b; compare 34:25b).

(9) The best of the first-fruits of thy ground shalt thou bring to the house of Yahweh thy God (Ex 34:26 a).

(10) Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk (Ex 34:26).

Addis agrees with Wellhausen that even this simpler decalogue must be put long after the time of Moses (EB, 1051).

Now, it is evident that the narrative in Ex 34:27 f, in its present form, means to affirm that Moses was commanded to write the precepts contained in the section immediately preceding. The Ten Commandments, as the foundation of the covenant, were written by Yahweh Himself on the two tablets of stone (Ex 31:18; 32:15 f; 34:28). It is only by free critical handling of the narrative that it can be made to appear that Moses wrote on the two tables the supposed decalogue of Ex 34:14-26. Moreover, the law of the Sabbath (34:21), which is certainly appropriate amid the ritual ordinances of Ex 34, must be omitted altogether, in order to reduce the precepts to ten; also the command in 34:23 has to be deleted. It is interesting to observe that the prohibition of molten gods (34:17), even according to radical critics, is found in the earliest body of Israelite laws. There is no sufficient reason for denying that the 2nd commandment was promulgated in the days of Moses. Yahweh’s requirements have always been in advance of the practice of His people.

4. Brief Exegetical Notes:

(1) The 1st commandment prohibits the worship of any god other than Yahweh. If it be said that this precept inculcates monolatry and not monotheism, the reply is ready to hand that a consistent worship of only one God is, for a people surrounded by idolaters, the best possible approach to the conclusion that there is only one true God. The organs of revelation, whatever may have been the notions and practices of the mass of the Israelite people, always speak in words that harmonize with a strict monotheism.

(2) The 2nd commandment forbids the use of images in worship; even an image of Yahweh is not to be tolerated (compare Ex 32:5). Yahweh’s mercy is greater than His wrath; while the iniquity of the fathers descends to the third and the fourth generation for those who hate Yahweh, His mercy overflows to thousands who love Him. It is doubtful whether the rendering ‘showing mercy to the thousandth generation’ (Ex 20:6) can be successfully defended.

(3) Yahweh’s name is sacred, as standing for His person; therefore it must be employed in no vain or false way. The commandment, no doubt, includes more than false swearing. Cursing, blasphemy and every profane use of Yahweh’s name are forbidden.

(4) As the 1st commandment inculcates the unity of God and the 2nd His spirituality, so also the 3rd commandment guards His name against irreverent use and the 4th sets apart the seventh day as peculiarly His day, reserved for a Sabbath. Ex 20:11 emphasizes the religious aspect of the Sabbath, while De 5:14 lays stress on its humane aspect, and De 5:15 links it with the deliverance from bondage in Egypt.

(5) The transition from duties to God to duties to men is made naturally in the 5th commandment, which inculcates reverence for parents, to whom their children should look up with gratitude, as all men should toward the Divine Father.

(6) Human life is so precious and sacred that no man should dare to take it away by violence.

(7) The family life is safeguarded by the 7th commandment.

(8) The 8th commandment forbids theft in all its forms. It recognizes the right of personal ownership of property.

(9) The 9th commandment safeguards honor and good name among men. Slander, defamation, false testimony in court and kindred sins are included.

(10) The 10th commandment is the most searching of them all, for it forbids the inward longing, the covetous desire for what belongs to another. The presence of such a deeply spiritual command among the "ten words" shows that we have before us no mere code of laws defining crimes, but a body of ethical and spiritual precepts for the moral education of the people of Yahweh.

IV. Jesus and the Ten Commandments.

Our Lord, in the interview with the rich young ruler, gave a recapitulation of the commandments treating of duties to men (Mr 10:19; Mt 19:18 f; Lu 18:20). He quotes the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th commandments. The minor variations in the reports in the three Synoptic Gospels remind the student of the similar variations in Ex 20 and De 5. Already in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus had quoted the 6th and 7th commandments, and then had gone on to show that anger is incipient murder, and that lust is adultery in the heart (Mt 5:27-32). He takes the words of the Decalogue and extends them into the realm of thought and feeling. He may have had in mind the 3rd commandment in His sharp prohibition of the Jewish habit of swearing by various things (Mt 5:33-37). As to the Sabbath, His teaching and example tended to lighten the onerous restrictions of the rabbis (Mr 2:23-28). Duty to parents He elevated above all supposed claims of vows and offerings (Mt 15:4-6). In further extension of the 8th commandment, Jesus said, "Do not defraud" (Mr 10:19); and in treating of the ethics of speech, Jesus not only condemns false witness, but also includes railing, blasphemy, and even an idle word (Mt 15:19; 12:31,36 f). In His affirmation that God is spirit (Joh 4:24), Jesus made the manufacture of images nothing but folly. All his ethical teaching might be said to be founded on the 10th commandment, which tracks sin to its lair in the mind and soul of man.

Our Lord embraced the whole range of human obligation in two, or at most three, commands: (1) "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind"; (2) "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mt 22:37-40; compare De 6:5; Le 19:18). With love such as is here described in the heart, man cannot trespass against God or his fellow-men. At the close of His ministry, on the night of the betrayal, Jesus gave to His followers a third commandment, not different from the two on which the whole Law hangs, but an extension of the second great commandment upward into a higher realm of self-sacrifice (Joh 13:34 f; 15:12 f, 17; compare Eph 5:2; Ga 6:10; 1Joh 3:14-18). "Thou shalt love" is the first word and the last in the teaching of our Lord. His teaching is positive rather than negative, and so simple that a child can understand it. For the Christian, the Decalogue is no longer the highest summary of human duty. He must ever read it with sincere respect as one of the great monuments of the love of God in the moral and religious education of mankind; but it has given place to the higher teaching of the Son of God, all that was permanently valuable in the Ten Commandments having been taken up into the teaching of our Lord and His apostles.


Oehler, Old Testament Theology, I, 267 ff; Dillmann, Exodus-Leviticus, 200-219; Kuenen, Origin and Composition of the Hexateuch, 244; Wellhausen, Code of Hammurabi, 331 f; Rothstein, Das Bundesbuch; Baenstch, Das Bundesbuch; Meissaner, Der Dekalog; Driver, "Deuteronomy," ICC; Addis, Documents of the Hexateuch, I, 136 ff; R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments; G. D. Boardman, University Lectures on the Ten Commandments (Philadelphia, 1889).

John Richard Sampey



See MUSIC, I, 1, (2), (c).


ten’-der: The usua1 (11 out of 16 times) translation of rakh, "soft," "delicate," with the noun rokh, in De 28:56 and the verb rakhakh, in 2Ki 22:19 parallel 2Ch 34:27. Attention need be called only to the following cases: In Ge 29:17, "Leah’s eyes were tender," a physical defect is described ("weak-eyed"; see BLINDNESS). "Tender-hearted" in 2Ch 13:7 means "faint-hearted," while in 2Ki 22:19 parallel 2Ch 34:27 ("because thy heart was tender"), it means "penitent." Contrast the modern use in Eph 4:32.

Throughout Psalms (10 times) and Proverbs (12:10), but not elsewhere (the King James Version has "tender love" in Da 1:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "compassion"), English Versions of the Bible translate rachamim, "bowels," by "tender mercies," and this translation has been carried into the New Testament as "tender mercy" (the Revised Version margin "heart of mercy") for the corresponding Greek phrase splagchna eleous ("bowels of mercy") in Lu 1:78; compare "tenderhearted" for eusplagchnos ("right boweled") in Eph 4:32, based upon the idea of psychology widely spread among Semitic people, which considers the "bowels" (qerebh) as the seat of all tender emotions of kindness and mercy: See BOWELS. the King James Version also has "of tender mercy" in Jas 5:11 without justification in the Greek (oiktirmon, the Revised Version (British and American) "merciful").

Other special phrases: "tender grape" in the King James Version, So 2:13,15; 7:12, for cemadhar. The meaning of the word is not quite certain, but Revised Margin’s "blossom" (except 7:12 margin) is probably right. "Tender grass" in 2Sa 23:4; Pr 27:25; the Revised Version (British and American) De 32:2 (the King James Version "tender herb"); Isa 15:6; 66:14 for deshe’ "grass" (Aramaic dethe’, Da 4:15,23). The context in these passages and the meaning of the cognates of deshe’ in other Semitic languages make this translation probable, but Revised Version’s usage is not consistent (compare Ge 1:11,12; Job 6:5; Ps 23:2, etc.). Isa, 53:2 has "tender plant" for yoneq, "a sapling," while Job 14:7 has "tender branch" for the allied word yoneqeth, usually rendered "shoot" (Job 8:16, etc.). Finally, "tender" in Mr 13:28 parallel Mt 24:32 is for hapalos, "soft." The running sap of springtime softens the branches that were stiff during the winter.

The verb "tender" occurs in 2 Macc 4:2, the King James Version "(he had) tendered his own nation," in the modern sense of "tend." The translation is a paraphrase of the noun kedemon, "a protector," the Revised Version (British and American) "the guardian of his fellow-countrymen."

Burton Scott Easton


ten’-un (yadh): This word, occurring in Ex 26 and 36, is used in the account of the tabernacle to describe the "hand" or yadh by which its 48 boards were kept in place. Each board had two tenons which were mortised into it (Ex 36:22 margin). These tenons would be made of harder wood than the acacia, so as better to stand the strain of wind and weather. When in use the tenons were sunk into the "sockets" (which see), and allowed of a speedy reerection of the tabernacle at its every remove.

Sockets are also mentioned as in use for the standards of the tabernacle court (Ex 27:10 ), but there is no mention of tenons. It may be that the base of each standard was let into its socket, without the use of any tenon. This would give it sufficient stability, as the height of each standard was but 5 cubits (7 1/2 ft.) (Ex 27:18).

For Professor A. R. S. Kennedy’s different theory of "tenons," see TABERNACLE, and his own article on the "Tabernacle" in HDB, IV.

W. Shaw Caldecott


tent (’ohel; skene; ‘ohel is a derivative of ‘ahal, "to be clear," "to shine"; hence, ‘ohel, "to be conspicuous from a distance"): In the great stretches of uncultivated lands in the interior of Syria or Arabia, which probably have much the same aspect today as in Abraham’s time, it is an easy matter to espy an encampment of roving Bedouin, "a nation .... that dwelleth without care .... that have neither gates nor bars" (Jer 49:31). The peaks of their black (compare So 1:5) goats’ hair tents stand out in contrast against the lighter colors of the soil.

There seems to be little doubt about the antiquity of the Arab tent, and one can rightly believe that-the dwelling-places of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and their descendants were made on the same pattern and of the same materials (Ge 4:20; 9:27; 12:8; 13:3; 18:6; 31:25,30; Ps 78:55; Heb 11:9, etc.). Long after the children of Israel had given up their tents for houses they continued to worship in tents (2Sa 7:1-6; 2Ch 1:3,4) (for the use of tents in connection with religious observances see TABERNACLE).

The Arab tents (called bait sha‘r, "house of hair") are made of strips of black goats’ hair cloth, sewed together into one large piece (see GOATS’ HAIR; WEAVING). Poles are placed under this covering at intervals to hold it from the ground, and it is stretched over these poles by ropes of goats hair or hemp (compare Job 4:21; Isa 54:2; Jer 10:20) "fastened to hard-wood pins driven into the ground (Isa 54:2; Jud 4:21; 5:26). A large wooden mallet for driving the pegs is part of the regular camp equipment (Jud 4:21; 5:26). The sides (curtains) of the tent (Isa 54:2) are made of strips of goats hair cloth or from mats woven from split cane or rushes (see Illustration, p. 2948). Where more than one family occupies the same tent or the animals are provided with shelter under the same roof (compare 2Ch 14:15), curtains of the same materials mentioned above form the dividing walls. A corner of the matting where two ends meet is turned back to form the door of the tent (Ge 18:1). In the summer time the walls are mostly removed. New tents are not water-proof, and the condition of the interior after a heavy rain is not far from squalid. The tent material becomes matted by use, especially if wool has been woven into the fabric, and is then a better protection against the rain. It is the women’s duty to pitch the tents.

The poorer Arabs have no mats to cover the ground under their tents. Straw mats, goats’ hair or woolen rugs (compare Jud 4:18), more or less elaborate as the taste and means of the family allow, are the usual coverings for the tent floor. The food supplies are usually kept in goats’ hair bags, the liquids, as oil or milk products, in skins. One or two tinned copper cooking-vessels, a shallow tray of the same material, a coffee set consisting of roasting pan, mortar and pestle, boiling-pot and cups, make up the usual camp furniture. The more thrifty include bedding in their equipment, but this increases the difficulties of moving, since it might require more than the one animal, sometimes only a donkey, which carries all the earthly belongings of the family. A sheikh or chief has several tents, one for himself and guests, separate ones for his wives and female servants, and still others for his animals (compare Ge 31:33).

Other Hebrew words translated "tent" are forms of chanah (Nu 13:19; 1Sa 17:53; 2Ki 7:16; 2Ch 31:2; Zec 14:15); cukkah (2Sa 11:11; 22:12); mishkenoth (So 1:8).

Figurative: "Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there" typified utter desolation (Isa 13:20). "Enlarge the place of thy tent .... stretch forth the curtains .... lengthen thy cords .... strengthen thy stakes" prophesied an increase in numbers and prosperity of God’s people (Isa 54:2; compare 33:20; Lu 16:9; 2Co 5:4). Tent cords plucked up denoted death. (Job 4:21). Jer 10:20 is a picture of a destroyed household as applied to Judah. Hezekiah in his sickness bewails that his dwelling (life) had been carried away as easily as a shepherd’s tent is plucked up (Isa 38:12). Isaiah compared the heavens to a tent spread out (Isa 40:22). "They shall pitch their tents against her" i.e. they shall make war (Jer 6:3).

James A. Patch


tent’-mak-er (~skenopoios): Mentioned only once (Ac 18:3). Paul’s native province of Cilicia was noted for its goats’ hair cloth which was exported under the name of cilicium and was used largely for tentmaking. We are told in the passage mentioned that Paul dwelt with Aquila and Priscilla, and worked with them at tent-making (compare Ac 20:34).

See also CRAFTS, II, 18.




del (‘issaron): The tenth part of an ephah, and so rendered in the Revised Version (British and American) (Nu 28; 29). It was used in connection with the sacrifices for measuring flour.

TEPHON te’-fon (he Tepho): In 1 Macc 9:50, a city of Judea fortified by Bacchides, probably the "Beth-tappuah" of Jos 15:53, near Hebron. Josephus (Ant., XII, i, 3) calls it "Tochoa."


te’-ra (terach; Septuagint Tharra, or (with New Testament) Thara; on the name see especially HDB, under the word): The son of Nahor and father of Abraham, Nahor and Haran (Ge 11:24 f). At Abraham’s birth Terah was 70 years old (Ge 11:26), and after Abraham’s marriage, Terah, Abraham, Sarah and Lot emigrated from Ur of the Chaldees on the road into the land of Canaan, but stopped in Haran (Ge 11:31). When Abraham was 75 years old he and his nephew resumed their journey, leaving Terah in Haran, where 60 years later he died (Ge 11:32). Stephen, however, states (Ac 7:4) that Terah was dead when Abraham left Haran, an impression that is easily gained from Ge 11-12 if the dates are not computed. As there is no reason to suppose that Stephen was granted inspiration that would preserve him from such a purely formal error, the contradiction is of no significance and attempts at "reconciliation" are needless. In particular, the attempt of Blass (Stud. u. Krit., 1896, 460 ff) to alter the text of Ac is quite without foundation. For further discussion see especially Knowling, The Expositor’s Greek Testament, at the place It is worth noting that Philo makes the same error (Migr. Abr. 177 (section 32)), perhaps indicating some special Jewish tradition of New Testament times. In Jos 24:2 Terah is said to have been an idolater. In Jubilees 12 this is softened into explaining that through fear of his life Terah was forced to yield outward conformity to the idolatrous worship of his neighbors. On the other hand certain Jewish legends (e.g. Ber. Rab. 17) represent Terah as actually a maker of idols. Otherwise in the Bible Terah is mentioned only by name in 1Ch 1:26; Lu 3:34.

Burton Scott Easton


(Codex Vaticanus Tarath; Codex Alexandrinus Tharath): A wilderness camp of the Israelites between Tahath and Mithkah (Nu 33:27,28).







(1) ‘elah (Isa 6:13, the King James Version "teil tree"; Ho 4:13, the King James Version "elms"); in Ge 35:4 (the King James Version "oak"); Jud 6:11,19; 9:6 (the King James Version "plain"); 2Sa 18:9,10,14; 1Ki 13:14; 1Ch 10:12; Isa 1:30; Eze 6:13, translated "oak," and in margin "terebinth"; "vale of Elah," margin "the terebinth" in 1Sa 17:2,19; 21:9.

(2) ‘elim (Isa 1:29, "oaks," margin "terebinths").

(3) ‘allah (Jos 24:26, English Versions of the Bible have "oak," but the Septuagint terebinthos).

(4) ‘elon, "oak (margin, "terebinth") of Zaanannim" (Jos 19:33; Jud 4:11); "oak (the Revised Version margin "terebinth," the King James Version "plain") of Tabor" (1Sa 10:3); also Ge 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 1Sa 10:3; De 11:30; Jud 6:19 all translated "oak" or "oaks," with margin "terebinth" or "terebinths."

(5) In Ge 14:6 Septuagint has terebinthos, as the translation of the el of El-paran.

(6) In Ecclesiasticus 24:16 terem (b)inthos, the King James Version turpentine tree," the Revised Version (British and American) "terebinth."

It is clear that the translators are uncertain which translation is correct, and it would seem not improbable that then there was no clear distinction between oak and terebinth in the minds of the Old Testament. writers; yet the two are very different trees to any but the most superficial observation.

The terebinth—Pistacia terebinthus (Natural Order, Anacardiaceae), Arabic Butm]—is a tree allied to the P. vera, which produces the pistachio nut, and to the familiar "pepper tree" (Schinus molle) so extensively cultivated in modern Palestine. Like the latter the terebinth has red berries, like small immature grapes. The leaves are pinnate, four to six pairs, and they change color and fall in autumn, leaving the trunk bare (compare Isa 1:30). The terebinth is liable to be infected by many showy galls, some varieties looking like pieces of red coral. In Palestine, this tree assumes noble proportions, especially in situations when, from its association with some sacred tomb, it is allowed to flourish undisturbed. It is in such situations not infrequently as much as 40 ft. high and spreads its branches, with their thick, dark-green foliage, over a wide area (compare 2Sa 18:9 f, 14; Ecclesiasticus 24:16). Dwarfed trees occur among the brushwood all over the land.

From this tree a kind of turpentine is obtained, hence, the alternative name "turpentine tree" (Ecclesiasticus 24:16 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "terebinth").

E. W. G. Masterman


te’-resh (teresh (Es 2:21; 6:2); Codex Vaticanus, Codex Alexandrinus, and Codex Sinaiticus omit it; but Codex Sinaiticus’ margin has Tharas and Tharras): A chamberlain of King Ahasuerus. Oppert compares the name with Tiri-dates, the name of the governor of Persepolis in the time of Alexander. Another explanation identifies it with the Persian word turs "firm"; Scheft links it with the Persian tarsha, "desire."


ter’-as (mecillah): Solomon is said, in 2Ch 9:11, to have made of the algum trees brought him from Ophir "terraces," or raised walks, for the house of Yahweh. In the parallel 1Ki 10:12, the word used is rendered "pillars," margin "‘a railing’; Hebrew ‘a prop.’"


ter’-i-b’l, ter’-er (yare’," to be feared," "reverenced," arits, "powerful," "tyrannical," ‘ayom, "aweinspiring," chittith "terror," ballahah, "a worn-out or wasted thing," ‘emah, "fright"; phoberos, "dreadful," phobos, "fear"): The above terms, and many others which employed, denote whatever, by horrible aspect, or by greatness, power, or cruelty, affrights men (De 1:19; 26:8; Da 2:31). God is terrible by reason of His awful greatness, His infinite power, His inscrutable dealings, His perfect holiness, His covenant faithfulness, His strict justice and fearful judgments (Ex 34:10; De 7:21; Ne 9:32; Job 6:4; 37:22; Ps 65:5; 88:15 f; Joe 2:11; Ze 2:11; Heb 12:21). The term is also applied to the enemies of God and of His people (Isa 13:11; 25:3 ff; 49:25; Da 7:7; 1Pe 3:14). "The terror (the Revised Version (British and American) "fear") of the Lord" (2Co 5:11) denotes the reverence or fear inspired by the thought that Christ is judge (2Co 5:10).

M. O. Evans


tur’-shi-us (Tertios): The amanuensis of Paul who wrote at his dictation the Epistle to the Romans. In the midst of Paul’s greetings to the Christians in Rome he interpolated his own, "I Tertius, who write the epistle, salute you in the Lord" (Ro 16:22). "It is as a Christian, not in virtue of any other relation he has to the Romans, that Tertius salutes them" (Denney). Some identify him with Silas, owing to the fact that shalish is the Hebrew for "third (officer)," as tertius is the Latin Others think he was a Roman Christian residing in Corinth. This is, however, merely conjecture. Paul seems to have dictated his letters to an amanuensis, adding by his own hand merely the concluding sentences as "the token in every epistle" (2Th 3:17; Col 4:18; 1Co 16:21). How far this may have influenced the style of his letters is discussed in Sanday-Headlam, Romans, Introduction, LX.

S. F. Hunter


ter-tul’-us, ter- (Tertullos, diminutive of Latin tertius, "third"):, An orator who descended with Ananias the high priest and elders from Jerusalem to Caesarea to accuse Paul before Felix the Roman governor (Ac 24:1). Tertullus was a hired pleader whose services were necessary that the case for the Jews might be stated in proper form. Although he bore a Roman name, he was not necessarily a Roman; Roman names were common both among Greeks and Jews, and most orators were at this time of eastern extraction. Nor is it definitely to be concluded from the manner of his speech (Ac 24:2-8) that he was a Jew; it has always been customary for lawyers to identify themselves in their pleading with their clients. His speech before Felix is marked by considerable ingenuity. It begins with an adulation of the governorship of Felix that was little in accord with history (see FELIX); and the subsequent argument is an example of how a strong case may apparently be made out by the skillful manipulation of half-truths. Thus the riot at Jerusalem was ascribed to the sedition-mongering of Paul, who thereby proved himself an enemy of Roman rule and Jewish religion, both of which Felix was pledged to uphold. Again, the arrest of Paul was not an act of mob violence, but was legally carried out by the high priests and elders in the interests of peace; and but for the unwarranted interference of Lysias (see LYSIAS), they would have dealt with the prisoner in their own courts and thus have avoided trespassing on the time of Felix. They were, however, perfectly willing to submit the whole case to his jurisdiction. It is interesting to compare this speech of Tertullus with the true account, as given in Ac 21:27-35, and also with the letter of Lysias (Ac 23:26-30).

C. M. Kerr


tes’-ta-ment: The word diatheke, almost invariably rendered "covenant," was rendered in the King James Version "testament" in Heb 9:16,17, in the sense of a will to dispose of property after the maker’s death. It is not easy to find justification for the retention of this translation in the Revised Version (British and American), "especially in a book which is so impregnated with the language of the Septuagint as the Epistle to the Hebrews" (Hatch).

















tes’-ti-mo-ni (Ex 25:21 f).



te’-ta. See ATETA.


teth (T): The 9th letter of the Hebrew alphabet; transliterated in this Encyclopedia as "T" (a more intense "t"). It came also to be used for the number 9; and with waw ("w") for 15, with zayin ("z") for 16 (i.e. 9 plus 6 and 9 plus 7) to avoid forming regular series with the abbreviation for Yahweh. For name, etc., see ALPHABET.


te’-trark, tet’-rark tetrarches): As the name indicates it signifies a prince, who governs one-fourth of a domain or kingdom. The Greeks first used the word. Thus Philip of Macedon divided Thessaly into four "tetrarchies." Later on the Romans adopted the term and applied it to any ruler of a small principality. It is not synonymous with "ethnarch" at least the Romans made a distinction between Herod "tetrarch" of Galilee, Philip "tetrarch" of Trachonitis, Lysanias "tetrarch" of Abilene, and Archelaius "ethnarch" of Judea (BJ, II, vi, 3; Ant, XVII, xi, 4). The title was often conferred on Herodian princes by the Romans, and sometimes it was used courteously as a synonym for king (Mt 14:9; Mr 6:14). In the same way a "tetrarchy" was sometimes called a kingdom.

Henry E. Dosker


tet’-er (bohaq; alphos): The term "freckled spot" in the King James Version is thus rendered in the Revised Version (British and American). The eruption referred to in Le 13:39 is a pale white spot on the skin. This is described by Gorraeus as an eruption arising from a diseased state of the system without roughness of skin, scales or ulceration. It did not render the sufferer unclean, although it is difficult of cure. The disease is commonly known by its Latin name vitiligo. Pliny recommended the use of capers and lupins to remove it.




1. Autographs of the New Testament Writers

2. Papyrus Fragments of the Greek New Testament

3. Greek Copies or Manuscripts of the New Testament Text

4. List of Manuscripts of the Greek New Testament

(1) Uncials

(2) Minuscules

5. Vernacular Versions

6. Patristic Quotations

7. Lectionaries and Service-Books





The literary evidence to the text of the New Testament is vastly more abundant than that to any other series of writings of like compass in the entire range of ancient letters. Of the sacred books of the Hebrew Bible there is no known copy antedating the 10th century AD. Of Homer there is no complete copy earlier than the 13th century. Of Herodotus there is no manuscript earlier than the 10th century. Of Vergil but one copy is earlier than the 4th century, and but a fragment of all Cicero’s writings is even as old as this. Of the New Testament, however, we have two splendid manuscripts of the 4th century, at least ten of the 5th, twentyfive of the 6th and in all a total of more than four thousand copies in whole or in part of the Greek New Testament. To these copies of the text itself may be added the very important and even more ancient evidence of the versions of the New Testament in the Latin, Syriac, and Egyptian tongues, and the quotations and clear references to the New Testament readings found in the works of the early Church Fathers, as well as the inscriptions and monumental data in Syria, Asia Minor, Africa, Italy, and Greece, dating from the very age of the apostles and their immediate successors. It thus appears that the documents of the Christian faith are both so many and so widely scattered that these very facts more than any others have embarrassed the final determination of the text. Now however, the science of textual criticism has so far advanced and the textual problems of the Greek Testament have been so well traversed that one may read the Christian writings with an assurance approximating certainty.

Professor Eberhard Nestle speaks of the Greek text of the New Testament issued by Westcott and Hort as the "nearest in its approach to the goal." Professor Alexander Souter’s student’s edition of the Revisers’ Greek New Testament, Oxford, 1910, no doubt attains even a higher watermark. It is the purpose of the present article to trace, as far as it can be done in a clear and untechnical manner, the process of connection between the original writings and this, one of the latest of the editions of the Greek New Testament.

I. Sources of Evidence for the Text of the New Testament.

1. Autographs of the New Testament Writers:

Until very recent times it has not been customary to take up with any degree of confidence, if at all, the subject of New Testament autographs, but since the researches in particular of Dalman, Deissmann, Moulton (W. F.) and Milligan (George), the task is not only appropriate but incumbent upon the careful student. The whole tendency of recent investigation is to give less place to the oral tradition of Christ’s life and teaching and to press back the date of the writing of the Synoptic Gospels into the period falling between Pentecost and the destruction of Jerusalem. Sir William M. Ramsay goes so far as to claim that "antecedent probability founded on the general character of personal and contemporary Greek of Gr-Asiatic society" would indicate that the first Christian account of the circumstances connected with the death of Jesus must be presumed to have been written in the year when Jesus died" (Letters to the Seven Churches, 7). W. M. Flinders Petrie argues to the same end and says: "Some generally accepted Gospels must have been in circulation before 60 AD. The mass of briefer records and Logia which the habits and culture of that age would produce must have been welded together within 10 or 20 years by the external necessities" (The Growth of the Gospels, 7).

The autographs of the New Testament writers have long been lost, but the discovery during the last few years of contemporary documents enables us to form fairly clear notions as to their general literary character and condition. In the first place papyrus was probably the material employed by all the New Testament writers, even the original Gospel of Matthew and the general Epistle of James, the only books written within Palestine, not being excepted, for the reason that they were not originally written with a view to their liturgical use, in which case vellum might possibly have been employed. Again the evidence of the writings themselves witnesses to the various literary processes followed during the 1st century. Dictation was largely followed by Paul, the names of at least four of his secretaries, Tertius, Sosthenes, Timothy, and Sylvanus, being given, while the master himself, as in many of the Egyptian papyri, appended his own signature, sometimes with a sentence or two at the end. The method of personal research was pursued, as well as compilation of diverse data including folklore and genealogies, together with the grouping of cognate matters in artistic forms and abundant quotation in writings held in high esteem by the readers, as in the First and Third Gospels and the Book of Acts. The presentation copy of one’s works must have been written with unusual pains in case of their dedication to a patrician patron, as Luke to "most excellent Theophilus." For speculation as to the probable dimensions of the original papyrus rolls of New Testament books, one will find Professor J. Rendel Harris and Sir F. G. Kenyon extremely suggestive, and from opposite viewpoints; compare Kenyon, Handbook of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament; Harris, New Testament Autographs.

Comparatively few papyrus fragments of the New Testament are now known to be extant, and no complete book of the New Testament has as yet been found, though the successes in the field of contemporary Greek writings inspire confidence that ere long the rubbish heaps of Egypt will reward the diligent explorer. Of the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) somewhat more has come to light than the New Testament, while the papyrus copies and fragments of Homer are almost daily increasing.

The list below is condensed from that of Sir Frederick G. Kenyon’s Handbook of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, 2nd edition, 1912, 41 ff, using Dr. Gregory’s method of notation.

2. Papyrus Fragments of the Greek New Testament:

P1 Mt 1:1-9,12,14-20. 3rd century. Found at Oxyrhynchus in 1896, now in the University of Pennsylvania.

See illustration under PAPYRUS.

P2 Joh 12:12-15 in Greek on the verso, with Lu 7:18 ff in Sahidic on the recto. 5th or 6th century. In book form, at the Museo Archeologico, Florence.

P3 Lu 7:36-43; 10:38-42. 6th century. In book form. In the Rainer Collection, Vienna.

P4 Lu 1:74-80; 5:3-8,30-6:4. 4th century. In book form. Found in Egypt joined to a manuscript of Philo; now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

P5 Joh 1:23-31,33-41; 20:11-17,19-25. 3rd century. An outer sheet of a single-quire book. Found at Oxyrhynchus and now in the British Museum.

P6 Joh 11:45. University of Strassburg.

P7 Lu 4:1,2. Archaeological Museum at Kieff.

P8 Ac 4:31-37; 5:2-9; 6:1-6,8-15. 4th century. In the Berlin Museum.

P9 1 Joh 4:11-13,15-17. 4th or 5th century. In book form. Found at Oxyrhynchus; now in Harvard University Library.

P10 Ro 1:1-7. 4th century. Found at Oxyrhynchus; now in Harvard University Library.

P11 1Co 1:17-20; 6:13-18; 7:3,4,10-14. 5th century. In the Imperial Library at Petersburg.

P12 Heb 1:1. 3d or 4th century. In the Amherst Library.

P13 Heb 2:14-5:5; 10:8-11:13; 11:28-12:17. 3rd or 4th century. Found at Oxyrhynchus; now in the British Museum.

P14:1Co 1:25-27; 2:3-8; 3:8-10,20. 5th century. In book form; at Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai.

P15:1Co 7:18-8:4; Php 3:9-17; 4:2-8. 4th century. Found at Oxyrhynchus.

P16 Ro 12:3-8. 6th or 7th century. Ryland’s Library, Manchester.

P17 Tit 1:11-15; 2:3-8. 3rd century. Ryland’s Library, Manchester.

P18 Heb 9:12-19. 4th century. Found at Oxyrhynchus.

P19 Re 1:4-7. 3rd or 4th century. Found at Oxyrhynchus.

3. Greek Copies or Manuscripts of the New Testament Text:

Greek copies or manuscripts of the New Testament text have hitherto been and probably will continue to be the chief source of data in this great field. For determining the existence of the text in its most ancient form the autographs are of supreme value. For determining the content or extent of the text the versions are of highest worth. For estimating the meaning and at the same time for gaining additional data, both as to existence and extent of usage of the New Testament, the quotations of its text by the Church Fathers, whether as apologists, preachers, or historians, in Assyria, Greece, Africa, Italy or Gaul, are of exceeding importance. But for determining the readings of the text itself the Greek manuscripts or copies of the original autographs are still the principal evidence of criticism. About 4,000 manuscripts, in whole or in part, of the Greek New Testament are now known. These manuscripts furnish abundant evidence for determining the reading of practically the entire New Testament, while for the Gospels and most important Epistles the evidence is unprecedented for quantity and for clearness. They are usually divided into two classes: Uncial, or large hand, and Minuscule, or small hand, often called Cursive. The term "cursive" is not satisfactory, since it does not coordinate with the term "uncial," nor are so-called cursive features such as ligatures and oval forms confined to minuscule manuscripts. The uncials comprise about 140 copies extending from the 4th to the 10th centuries. The minuscules include the remaining manuscripts and fall between the 9th century and the invention of printing. Herewith is given a brief description of a few of the chief manuscripts, both uncial and minuscule, of the New Testament.

4. List of Manuscripts of the Greek New Testament:

(1) Uncials.

Codex Sinaiticus found by Tischendorf at Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai and now in the Imperial Library at Petersburg; 4th century. This is the only uncial which contains the New Testament entire. It also has the Epistle of Barnabas and part of the Shepherd of Hermas and possibly originally the Didache. The marks of many correctors are found in the text. It is written on 147 1/2 leaves of very thin vellum in four narrow columns of 48 lines each. The pages measure 15 X 13 1/2 in., and the leaves are arranged in quaternions of four sheets. The open sheet exposing eight columns resembles greatly an open papyrus roll. There is but rudimentary punctuation and no use of accent or initial letters, but the Eusebian section numbers are found on the margin of the Gospels.

Codex Alexandrinus (A), so named since it was supposed to have come from Alexandria, being the gift of Cyril Lucar, at one time Patriarch of that Province, though later of Constantinople, to Charles I, through the English ambassador at the Turkish court in 1627, and in 1757 presented to the Royal Library and now in the British Museum. It doubtless belongs to the 5th century, and contained the entire New Testament, lacking now only portions of Matthew, John, and 1 Corinthians, as well as the two Epistles of Clement of Rome and the Psalm of Solomon. It is written on thin vellum in two columns of 41 lines to the page, which is 12 5/8 X 10 3/8 in.; employs frequent initial capitals, and is divided into paragraphs, but has no marginal signs except in the Gospels. Several different hands are discovered in the present state of the MS.

Codex Vaticanus (B), since 1481, at least, the chief treasure of the Vatican Library, and universally esteemed to be the oldest and best manuscript of the Greek New Testament; 4th century. Written on very fine vellum, the leaves nearly square in shape, 10 X 10 1/2 in., with three narrow columns of 40-44 lines per column and five sheets making the quire. A part of the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Pastorals, Philemon and Revelation are lacking. It is without accents, breathings or punctuation, though corrected and retraced by later hands. In the Gospels the divisions are of an earlier date than in Codex Sinaiticus. The theory of Tischendorf that Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus were in part prepared by the same hand and that they were both among the 50 manuscripts made under the direction of Eusebius at Caesarea in 331 for use in the emperor Constantine’s new capital, is not now generally accepted.

Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C). This is the great palimpsest (twice written) manuscript of the uncial group, and originally contained the whole New Testament. Now, however, a part—approximately half—of every book is lacking, and 2 Thessalonians and 2 John are entirely gone. It belongs to the 5th century, is written on good vellum 9 X 12 1/2 in. to the page of 41 lines, and of one column in the original text, though the superimposed writings of Ephraem are in two. Enlarged initials and the Eusebian marginal sections are used and several hands have corrected the MS. See Fig. 2. Brought to Italy from the East in the 16th century, it came to France with Catherine de’ Medici and is now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

Codex Bezae (D). This is the early known manuscript which Theodore Beza obtained in 1562 from the monastery of Irenaeus at Lyons and which he gave in 1581 to the University of Cambridge, where it now is. It is a Greek-Latin text, the Greek holding the chief place on the left-hand page, measuring 8 X 10 in., and dates probably from the end of the 5th century. Both Greek and Latin are written in large uncials and divided into short clauses, corresponding line for line. The hands of no less than nine correctors have been traced, and the critical questions arising from the character of the readings are among the most interesting in the whole range of Biblical criticism and are still unsettled. It contains only the Gospels and Ac with a fragment of 3 John.

Codex Washingtoniensis (W). The United States has now in the National Library (Smithsonian) at the capital one of the foremost uncial manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. It is a complete codex of the Gospels, in a slightly sloping but very ancient hand, written upon good vellum, in one column of 30 lines to the page, and 6 X 9 in. in size. By all the tests ordinarily given, it belongs to the period of the earliest codices, possibly of the 4th century. Like Codex Bezae (D), it has the order of the Gospels: Matthew, John, Luke, Mark, and contains an apocryphal interpolation within the longer ending of Mark for which no other Greek authority is known, though it is probably referred to by Jerome. It has been published in facsimile by Mr. C. L. Freer of Detroit, who obtained the manuscript in Egypt in 1906, and is edited by Professor H. A. Sanders for the University of Michigan Press, 1911.

(2) Minuscules.

Out of the thousands of minuscule manuscripts now known only the four used by Erasmus, together with one now found in the United States, will be enumerated.

1. This is an 11th-century codex at Basel. It must have been copied from a good uncial, since its text often agrees with Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.

1R. Of the 12th century, and now at Mayhingen, Bayaria: This is the only manuscript Erasmus had for Revelation in his editio princeps, and being defective at the end, 22:16-21, he supplied the Greek text by retranslating from the Latin; compare Textus Receptus of the New Testament and the King James Version. Generally speaking, this manuscript is of high quality.

2. This is a 15th-century manuscript at Basel, and was that on which Erasmus most depended for his 1st edition, 1516. It reflects a good quality of text.

2AP. Some have assigned this manuscript to the 12th century, though it was probably later. It is at Basel, and was the principal text used by Erasmus in the Ac and Epistles.

667. An illustration of a good type of minuscule of the Gospels is taken from Evangelistaria 667, which came from an island of the Sea of Marmorn; purchased in Constantinople by Dr. Albert L. Long in 1892 and now in the Drew Seminary Library at Madison, N.J.

5. Vernacular Versions:

Vernacular VSS, or translations of the Scriptures into the tongues of western Christendom, were, some of them, made as early as the 2nd century, and thus antedate by several generations our best-known Greek text. It is considered by many as providential that the Bible was early translated into different tongues, so that its corruption to any large extent became almost if not altogether an impossibility, since the versions of necessity belonged to parts of the church widely removed from one another and with very diverse doctrinal and institutional tendencies. The testimony of translations to the exact form of words used either in an autograph or a Greek copy of an author is at best not beyond dispute, but as evidence for the presence or absence of whole sections or clauses of the original, their standing is of prime importance. Such extreme literalness frequently prevails that the vernacular idiom is entirely set aside and the order and construction of words in the original sources are slavishly followed and even transliterated, so that their bearing on many questions at issue is direct and convincing. Although the Greek New Testament has now been translated into all the principal tongues of the earth, comparative criticism is confined to those versions made during the first eight centuries.

6. Patristic Quotations:

Patristic quotations afford a unique basis of evidence for determining readings of the New Testament. So able and energetic were the Church Fathers of the early centuries that it is entirely probable that the whole text of the Greek New Testament could be recovered from this source alone, if the writings of apologists, homilists and commentators were carefully collated. It is also true that the earliest heretics as well as the defenders of the faith recognized the importance of accurately determining the original text, so that their remains also comprise no mean source for critical research. It is evident that the value of patristic quotations will vary according to such factors as the reliability of the reading, as quoted, the personal equation or habit of accuracy or looseness of the particular writer, and the purity or corruption of the text he employs. One of the marked advantages of this sort of evidence arises from the fact that it affords additional ground for localizing and dating the various classes of texts found both in original copies and in versions. For general study the more prominent Church Fathers of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries are sufficient, though profitable investigation may be made of a much wider period. By the beginning of the 5th century, however, the type of text quoted almost universally was closely akin to that now known as the Textus Receptus.

7. Lectionaries and Service-Books:

Lectionaries and service-books of the early Christian period afford a source of considerable value in determining the general type of texts, together with the order and contents and distribution of the several books of the Canon. As the lectionary systems both of the eastern and western churches reach back to post-apostolic times and all are marked by great verbal conservatism, they present data of real worth for determining certain problems of textual criticism. From the very nature of the case, being compiled for a liturgical use, the readings are often introduced and ended by set formulas, but these are easily separated from the text itself, which generally follows copy faithfully. Even the systems of chapter headings and divisions furnish clues for classifying and comparing texts, for there is high probability that texts with the same chapter divisions come from the same country. Probably the earliest system of chapter divisions is preserved in Codex Vaticanus, coming down to us from Alexandria probably by way of Caesarea. That it antedates the codex in which it appears is seen from the fact that the Pauline Epistles are numbered as comprising a continuous book with a break between Galatians and Ephesians and the dislocated section numbers attached to Hebrews which follows 2 Thessalonians here, though the numbers indicate its earlier position after Galatians. Another system of chapter divisions, at least as old as the 5th century, found in Codex Alexandrinus, cuts the text into much larger sections, known as Cephalia Majora. In all cases the enumeration begins with the 2nd section, the 1st being considered introductory. Bishop Eusebius developed a system of text division of the Gospels based upon an earlier method attributed to Ammonius, adding a series of tables or Canons. The first table contained sections giving events common to all four evangelists, and its number was written beneath the section number on the margin in each Gospel, so that their parallels could readily be found. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Canons contain lists of sections in which three of the Gospels have passages in common (the combination Mark, Luke, John, does not occur). The 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th contain lists in which two combine (the combination Mark, John, does not occur). Canon 10 contains those peculiar to some one of the Gospels.

II. Necessity of Sifting and Criticizing the Evidence.

Criticism from its very nature concerns itself entirely with the problems suggested by the errors of various kinds which it brings to light. In the writings of the New Testament the resources of textual evidence are so vast, exceeding, as we have seen, those of any other ancient literature, sacred or secular, that the area of actual error is relatively quite appreciable, though it must be remembered that this very abundance of textual variety ultimately makes for the integrity and doctrinal unity of the teaching of the New Testament books. Conjectural emendation which has played so large a part in the restoration of other writings has but slight place in the textual criticism of the New Testament, whose materials are so abundant that the difficulty is rather to select right renderings than to invent them. We have catalogued the principal sources of right readings, but on the most casual investigation of them discover large numbers of wrong readings mingled with the true, and must proceed to consider the sources of error or various readings, as they are called, of which approximately some 200,000 are known to exist in the various manuscripts, VSS, patristic citations and other data for the text.

"Not," as Dr. Warfield says, "that there are 200,000 places in the New Testament where various readings occur, but that there are nearly 200,000 readings all told, and in many cases the documents so differ among themselves that many various readings are counted on a single word, for each document is compared in turn with one standard and the number of its divergences ascertained, then these sums are themselves added together and the result given as the number of actually observed variations." Dr. Ezra Abbott was accustomed to remark that "about nineteen-twentieths of the variations have so little support that, although there are various readings, no one would think of them as rival readings, and nineteen-twentieths of the remainder are of so little importance that their adoption or rejection would cause no appreciable difference in the sense of the passages in which they occur." Dr. Hort’s view was that "upon about one word in eight, various readings exist supported by sufficient evidence to bid us pause and look at it; about one word in sixty has various readings upon it supported by such evidence as to render our decision nice and difficult, but that so many variations are trivial that only about one word in every thousand has upon it substantial variation supported by such evidence as to call out the efforts of the critic in deciding between the readings." The oft-repeated dictum of Bentley is still valid that "the real text of the sacred writings is competently exact, nor is one article of faith or moral precept either perverted or lost, choose as awkwardly as you will, choose the worst by design, out of the whole lump of readings." Despite all this, the true scholar must be furnished rightly to discriminate in the matter of diverse readings.

From the very nature of the case it is probable that errors should be frequent in the New Testament; indeed, even printed works are not free from them, as is seen in the most carefully edited editions of the English Bible, but in manuscripts the difficulty is increased in direct proportion to the number of various copies still extant. There are two classes of errors giving rise to various readings, unconscious or unintentional and conscious or intentional.

1. First Class:

Of the first class, that of unconscious errors, there are five sorts:

(1) Errors of the Eye.

Errors of the eye, where the sight of the copyist confuses letters or endings that are similar, writing e.g. capital eta for capital sigma; capital omicron for capital theta; capital alpha for capital lambda or capital delta; capital pi (P) for capital tau and capital iota (written together, TI); PAN for TIAN; capital mu (M) for a double capital lambda (LL). Here should be named homoeoteleuton, which arises when two successive lines in a copy end in the same word or syllable and the eye catches the second line instead of the first and the copyist omits the intervening words as in Codex Ephraemi of Joh 6:39.

(2) Errors of the Pen.

Here is classed all that body of variation due to the miswriting by the penman of what is correctly enough in his mind but through carelessness he fails rightly to transfer to the new copy. Transposition of similar letters has evidently occurred in Codices E, M, and H of Mr 14:65, also in H2 L2 of Ac 13:23.

(3) Errors of Speech.

Here are included those variations which have sprung from the habitual forms of speech to which the scribe in the particular case was accustomed and which he therefore was inclined to write. Under this head comes "itacism," arising from the confusion of vowels and diphthongs, especially in dictation. Thus, iota (i) is constantly written as epsilon-iota (ei) and vice versa; alpha-iota (ai) for epsilon (e); eta (ee) and iota (i) for epsilon-iota (ei); eta (ee) and omicron-iota (oi) for upsilon (u); omicron (o) for omega (oo) and epsilon (e) for eta (ee). It is observed that in Codex Sinaiticus we have scribal preference for iota (i) alone, while in Codex Vaticanus epsilon-iota (ei) is preferred.

(4) Errors of Memory.

These are explained as having arisen from the "copyist holding a clause or sequence of letters in his somewhat treacherous memory between the glance at the manuscript to be copied and his writing down what he saw there." Here are classed the numerous petty changes in the order of words and the substitution of synonyms, as eipen for ephee, ek for apo, and vice versa.

(5) Errors of Judgment.

Under this class Dr. Warfield cites "many misreadings of abbreviations, as also the adoption of marginal glosses into the text by which much of the most striking corruption which has entered the text has been produced." Notable instances of this type of error are found in Joh 5:1-4, explaining how it happened that the waters of Bethesda were healing; and in Joh 7:53-8:12, the passage concerning the adulteress, and the last twelve verses of Mark.

2. Second Class:

Turning to the second class, that of conscious or intentional errors, we may tabulate:

(1) Linguistic or Rhetorical Corrections.

Linguistic or rhetorical corrections, no doubt often made in entire good faith under the impression that an error had previously crept into the text and needed correcting. Thus, second aorist terminations in -a are changed to -o and the like.

(2) Historical Corrections.

Under this head is placed all that group of changes similar to the case in Mr 1:2, where the phrase "Isaiah the prophet" is changed into "the prophets."

(3) Harmonistic Corrections.

These are quite frequent in the Gospels, e.g. the attempted assimilation of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke to the fuller form in Matthew, and quite possibly the addition of the words "of sin" to the phrase in Joh 8:34, "Every one that doeth sin is a slave." A certain group of harmonistic corruptions where scribes allow the memory, perhaps unconsciously, to affect the writing may rightly be classed under (4) above.

(4) Doctrinal Corrections.

Of these it is difficult to assert any unquestioned cases unless it be the celebrated Trinitarian passage (King James Version, 1 Joh 5:7,8 a) or the several passages in which fasting is coupled with prayer, as in Mt 17:21; Mr 9:29; Ac 10:30; 1Co 7:5.

(5) Liturgical Corrections.

These are very common, especially in the lectionaries, as in the beginning of lessons, and are even found in early uncials, e.g. Lu 8:31; 10:23, etc.

III. Methods of Critical Procedure.

Here as in other human disciplines necessity is the mother of invention, and the principles of critical procedure rest almost entirely on the data connected with the errors and discrepancies which have consciously or unconsciously crept into the text. The dictum of Dr. George Salmon that "God has at no time given His church a text absolutely free from ambiguity" is true warrant for a free and continued inquiry into this attractive field of study. The process of textual criticism has gradually evolved certain rules based upon judgments formed after patiently classifying and taking into account all the documentary evidence available, both internal and external.

(1) An older reading is preferable to one later, since it is presumed to be nearer the original. However, mere age is no sure proof of purity, as it is now clear that very many of the corruptions of the text became current at an early date, so that in some cases it is found that later copies really represent a more ancient reading.

(2) A more difficult reading, if well supported, is preferable to one that is easier, since it is the tendency of copyists to substitute an easy, well-known and smooth reading for one that is harsh, unusual and ungrammatical. This was commonly done with the best of intentions, the scribe supposing he was rendering a real service to truth.

(3) A shorter is preferable to a longer reading, since here again the common tendency of scribes is toward additions and insertions rather than omissions. Hence arose, in the first place, the marginal glosses and insertions between the lines which later transcribers incorporated into the text. Although this rule has been widely accepted, it must be applied with discrimination, a longer reading being in some cases clearly more in harmony with the style of the original, or the shorter having arisen from a case of homoeoteleuton.

(4) A reading is preferable, other things being equal, from which the origin of all alternative readings can most clearly be derived. This principle is at once of the utmost importance and at the same time demands the most careful application. It is a sharp two-edged-sword, dangerous alike to the user and to his opponents.

(5) A reading is preferable, says Scrivener, "which best suits the peculiar style, manner and habits of thought of an author, it being the tendency of copyists to overlook the idiosyncrasies of the writer. Yet habit or the love of critical correction may sometimes lead the scribe to change the text to his author’s more usual style as well as to depart from it through inadvertence, so that we may securely. apply the rule only where the external evidence is not unequally balanced.".

(6) A reading is preferable which reflects no doctrinal bias, whether orthodox on the one side or heretical on the other. This principle is so obvious that it is accepted on all sides, but in practice wide divergence arises, owing to the doctrinal bias of the critic himself.

These are the main Canons of internal evidence. On the side of external evidence may be summarized what has already been implied:

(1) A more ancient reading is usually one that is supported by the most ancient manuscripts.

(2) A reading which has the undoubted support of the earliest manuscripts, versions and patristic writers is unquestionably original.

(3) A disagreement of early authorities usually indicates the existence of corruption prior to them all.

(4) Mere numerical preponderance of witnesses (to a reading) of any one class, locality or time, is of comparative insignificance.

(5) Great significance must be granted to the testimony of witnesses from localities or times widely apart, and it can only be satisfactorily met by a balancing agreement of witnesses also from different times and localities.

These rules, though they are all excellent and each has been employed by different critics with good results, are now somewhat displaced, or rather supplemented, by the application of a principle very widely used, though not discovered, by Westcott and Hort, known as the principle of the genealogy of manuscripts. The inspection of a very broad range of witnesses to the New Testament text has led to their classification into groups and families according to their prevailing errors, it being obvious that the greater the community of errors the closer the relationship of witnesses. Although some of the terms used by Westcott and Hort, as well as their content, have given rise to well-placed criticism, yet their grouping of manuscripts is so self-convincing that it bids fair, with but slight modification, to hold, as it has thus far done, first place in the field. Sir Frederick G. Kenyon has so admirably stated the method that the gist of his account will be given, largely using his identical words (Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, 2nd edition, London, 1912). As in all scientific criticism, four steps are followed by Westcott and Hort:

(a) The individual readings and the authorities for them are studied;

(b) an estimate is formed of the character of the several authorities;

(c) an effort is made to group these authorities as descendants of a common ancestor, and

(d) the individual readings are again taken up and the first provisional estimate of their comparative probability revised in the light of the knowledge gained as to the value and interrelation of the several authorities.

Applying these methods, four groups of texts emerge from the mass of early witnesses:

(a) The Antiochian or Syrian, the most popular of all and at the base of the Greek Textus Receptus and the English King James Version; in the Gospels the great uncials Alexandrinus and Ephraemi (C) support it as well as Codex N, Codex Sigma and Codex Phi, most of the later uncials and almost all minuscules, the Peshitta-Syriac version and the bulk of the Church Fathers from Chrysostom;

(b) the Neutral, a term giving rise to criticism on all sides and by some displaced by the term Egyptian; this group is small but of high antiquity, including S B L T Z, A and C, save in the Gospels, the Coptic versions (especially the Bohairic) and some of the minuscules, notably 33 and 81;

(c) the Alexandrian, closely akin to the Neutral group, not found wholly in any one manuscript but traceable in such manuscripts as S C L X, 33, and the Bohairic version, when they differ from the other members headed by B;

(d) the Western, another term considered ambiguous, since it includes some important manuscripts and Fathers very ancient and very Eastern; here belong D D2 E2 F2 G2 among the uncials, 28, 235, 383, 565, 614, 700, and 876 among the minuscules, the Old Syriac and Old Latin and sometimes the Sahidic versions.

Of these groups by far the most superior is the Neutral, though Westcott and Hort have made it so exclusively to coincide with Codex Vaticanus that they appear at times to have broken one of the great commandments of a philologist, as quoted by Dr. Nestle from a German professor, "Thou shalt worship no codices. Now, the only serious dispute centers on the apparent slight which this system may have put upon the so-called Western type of text in group four. The variants of this family are extensive and important and appear due to an extremely free handling of the text at some early date when scribes felt themselves at liberty to vary the language of the sacred books and even to insert additional passages of considerable length.

Although this type of text is of very early origin and though prevalent in the East was very early carried to the West, and being widely known there has been called Western, yet, because of the liberties above referred to, its critical value is not high, save in the one field of omissions. In Egypt, however, and especially Alexandria, just as in the case of the Old Testament, the text of the New Testament was critically considered and conserved, and doubtless the family called Neutral, as well as the so-called Alexandrian, springs up here and through close association with Caesarea becomes prevalent in Palestine and is destined to prevail everywhere. The Westcott-Hort contention. that the Antiochian text arose as a formal attempt at repeated revision of the original text in Antioch is not so convincing, but for want of a better theory still holds its place. Their objections, however, to its characteristic readings are well taken and everywhere accepted, even von Soden practically agreeing here, though naming it the Koine text. It is also interesting to find that von Soden’s Hesychian text so closely parallels the Neutral-Alexandrian above, and his Jerusalem family the Western. And thus we arrive at the present consensus of opinion as to the genealogical source of the text of the New Testament.

IV. History of the Process.

Abundant evidence exists and is constantly growing to show that critical opinion and methods were known at least from the very days of the formation of the New Testament Canon, but in such a sketch as the present the history can only be traced in modern times. The era of printing necessarily marks a new epoch here. Among available manuscripts choice must be made and a standard set, and in view of the material at hand it is remarkable how ably the work was done. It began in Spain under Cardinal Ximenes of Toledo, who printed at Alcala (Complutum) in 1514 the New Testament volume of his great Polyglot, though it was not actually issued until 1522. Meanwhile the great Erasmus, under patronage of Froben the printer of Basel, had been preparing a Greek New Testament, and it was published early in 1516 in a single volume and at low cost, and had reached its 3rd edition by 1522. His 4th edition in 1537 contains Erasmus’ definitive text, and, besides using Cardinal Ximenes’ text, had the advantage of minuscule manuscripts already named. The next important step was taken by Robert Estienne (Stephanus), whose 3rd edition, "Regia," a folio published in Paris in 1550, was a distinct advance, and, though based directly upon the work of Ximenes and Erasmus, had marginal readings from 15 new manuscripts, one of which was Codex Bezae (D). The learned Theodore Beza himself worked with Stephanus’ son Henri, and brought out no less than nine editions of the New Testament, but no great critical advance was made in them. The same may be said of the Seven Elzevir editions brought out at Leyden and Amsterdam between 1624 and 1678, the second, that of 1633, in the preface of which occurs the phrase, "Textum ergo habes nunc ab omnibus receptum," becoming the continental standard, as the 1550 edition of Stephanus has for England. Thus, we arrive at the Textus Receptus, and the period of preparation is closed.

The second period, or that of discovery and research, was ushered in by the great London Polyglot of 1657, edited by Brian Walton (later Bishop of Chester) with collations by Archbishop Ussher of 15 fresh manuscripts, including Codex Alexandrinus and Codex 59. But Dr. John Mill of Oxford was the Erasmus of this period, and in 1707 after 30 years of labor brought out the Greek Textus Receptus with fresh collations of 78 manuscripts, many versions and quotations from the early Fathers. His manuscripts included A B D E K, 28, 33, 59, 69, 71, the Peshito, Old Latin and Vulgate, and his Prolegomena set a new standard for textual criticism. This apparatus was rightly appreciated by Richard Bentley of Cambridge and a revised text of the Greek and of the Vulgate New Testament was projected along lines which have prevailed to this day. The work and wide correspondence of Bentley had stirred up continental scholars, and J. A. Bengel published in 1734 at Tubingen a Greek New Testament with the first suggestion as to genealogical classification of manuscripts. J. J. Wetstein of Basel and Amsterdam, though a very great collector of data and the author of the system of manuscript notation which has continued ever since, made little critical advance. J. S. Semler, taking Wetstein’s material, began rightly to interpret it, and his pupil J. J. Griesbach carried the work still farther, clearly distinguishing for the first time a Western, an Alexandrian and a Constantinopolitan recension.

With Carl Lachmann began the last epoch in New Testament criticism which has succeeded in going behind the Textus Receptus and establishing an authentic text based on the most ancient sources. He applied the critical methods with which he was familiar in editing the classics, and with the help of P. Buttmann produced an edition in 1842-50 which led the way directly toward the goal; but they were limited in materials and Tischendorf soon furnished these. Constantine Tischendorf, both as collector and editor, is the foremost man thus far in the field. His 8th edition, 1872, of the Greek New Testament, together with his Prolegomena, completed and published, 1884-1894, by C. R. Gregory, set a new standard. Dr. Gregory’s German edition of the Prolegomena, 1900-1909, supplemented by his Die griechischen Handschriften des New Testament, 1908, marks the further advance of the master through his master pupil. Meanwhile, S. P. Tregelles was doing almost as prodigious and valuable a work in England, and was thus preparing for the final advances at Cambridge. F. H. A. Scrivener also ranks high and did extremely valuable, though somewhat conservative, work in the same direction. In 1881 "the greatest edition ever published," according to Professor Souter, was brought out in England coincident with the Revised Version of the English New Testament. This, together with the introduction, which the same writer characterizes as "an achievement never surpassed in the scholarship of any country," was the joint product of B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, friends and co-workers for many years in the University of Cambridge. Thus with the end of the 19th century the history of the process may be said to close, though both process and progress still advance with everincreasing triumph.

Von Soden’s edition of the New Testament appeared during the summer of 1913 and is of first importance. It differs from all others in the extreme weight laid on Tatian’s Diatessaron as the source of the bulk of the errors in the Gospels. This theory is not likely to command the assent of scholars and the text (which does not differ greatly from Tischendorf’s) is consequently of doubtful value. Nevertheless, for fullness of material, clearness of arrangement, and beauty of printing, von Soden’s edition must inevitably supersede all others, even where the text is dissented from. Dr. Gregory promises a new edition at some day not too far in the future which, in turn, will probably supersede von Soden’s.


C. R. Gregory, Prolegomena to Tischendorf’s New Testament, Leipzig, 1884-94, Textkritik des New Testament, Leipzig, 1900-1909, Die griechischen Handschriften des New Testament, Leipzig, 1908, Einleitung in das New Testament, Leipzig, 1909, Vorschlage fur eine kritische Ausgabe des griechischen New Testament, Leipzig, 1911; F. G. Kenyon, Paleography of Greek Papyri, Oxford, 1899, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, London2, 1912; K. Lake, The Text of the New Testament, 4th edition, London, 1910; G. Milligan, Selections from the Greek Papyri, Cambridge, 1910, The New Testament Documents, 1913; Eb. Nestle, Einfuhrung in das New Testament, Gottingen3, 1909; F. H. A. Scrivener, Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 4th edition, London, 1894; Souter, Text and Canon of the New Testament, 1913; E. M. Thompson, Handbook of Greek and Latin Paleography, 2nd edition, London, 1894; H. von Soden, Die Schriften des New Testament, I. Tell, Untersuchungen, Berlin, 1902-10; II, Tell, 1913; B. F. Westcott, and F. J. A. Hort, The New Testament in Greek with Introduction, Cambridge and London, 1896; Th. Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, English translation, Edinburgh, 1910.

Charles Fremont Sitterly



1. Invention of Alphabet

2. The Cuneiform

3. References to Writing in the Old Testament

4. Inscriptions after Settlement in Canaan

5. Orthography of the Period


1. The Old Hebrew Alphabet

2. Aramean Alphabets

3. The New Hebrew Script

4. New Hebrew Inscriptions

5. Summary


1. Various Theories

2. The Change in the Law

3. In the Other Books

4. Evidence of the Septuagint

5. Evidence of the Text Itself

6. Conclusion


1. Internal Conditions

2. External Circumstances

3. The Septuagint Version


1. Word Separation

2. Other Breaks in the Text

3. Final Forms of Letters

4. Their Origin

5. Conclusion

6. The Vowel-Letters

7. Anomalous Forms

8. The Dotted Words

9. Their Antiquity

10. The Inverted Nuns ("n")

11. Large and Small Letters

12. Suspended Letters and Divided Waw ("w")

13. Abbreviations

14. Conclusion


1. Yahweh and Baal

2. Euphemistic Expressions

3. "Tiqqun copherim"


1. Misunderstanding

2. Errors of the Eye

3. Errors of the Ear

4. Errors of Memory

5. Errors of Carelessness and Ignorance


1. Changes Made in Reading

2. Preservation of Text

3. Division into Verses

4. Sections of the Law

5. Sections of the Prophets

6. Poetical Passages

7. Division into Books


1. Antiquity of the Points

2. Probable Date of Invention

3. Various Systems and Recensions


1. The Consonants

2. The Vowels

3. The Accents

4. Anomalous Pointings


1. Meaning of the Term

2. The "Qere" and "Kethibh"

3. Other: Features


1. Manuscripts

2. Early Printed Texts

3. Later Editions

4. Chapters and Verses


I. Earliest Form of Writing in Israel.

The art of writing is not referred to in the Book of Genesis, even where we might expect a reference to it, e.g. in Ge 23, nor anywhere in the Old Testament before the time of Moses (compare however, Ge 38:18,25; 41:44, which speak of "sealing" devices).


1. Invention of Alphabet:

About the year 1500 BC alphabetic writing was practiced by the Phoenicians, but in Palestine the syllabic Babylonian cuneiform was in use (see ALPHABET). The Israelites probably did not employ any form of writing in their nomadic state, and when they entered Canaan the only script they seem ever to have used was the Phoenicia. This is not disproved by the discovery there of two cuneiform contracts of the 7th century, as these probably belonged to strangers. There is only one alphabet in the world, which has taken many forms to suit the languages for which it was employed. This original alphabet was the invention of the Semites, for it has letters peculiar to the Semitic languages, and probably of the Phoenicians (so Lucan, Pharsalia iii.220; compare Herodotus v.58), who evolved it from the Egyptian hieroglyphics.

2. The Cuneiform:

Of the literature of Canaan before the Israelites entered it the remains consist of a number of cuneiform tablets found since 1892 at Lachish, Gezer, Taanach and Megiddo, but especially of the famous the Tell el-Amarna Letters, discovered in Egypt in 1887. Although this non-alphabetic script was in use in Canaan when the Israelites entered it, they do not seem to have adopted it.

3. References to Writing in the Old Testament:

The earliest reference to writing in the Old Testament is Ex 17:14. The next is Ex 24:7, mentioning the Book of the Covenant (Ex 20-23). The Book of the Wars of Yahweh is named in Nu 21:14. Other early references are Jud 5:14 margin; 8:14 margin. By the time of the monarchy the king and nobles could write (2Sa 11:14; 8:17), but not the common people, until the time of Amos and Hosea, when writing seems to have been common.

4. Inscriptions after Settlement in Canaan:

The Phoenician script prevailed in Palestine after the conquest as well as in the countries bordering on it. This is shown by the inscriptions which have been discovered. The chief of these are: the Baal Lebanon inscription found in Cyprus (beginning of the 9th century); the manuscript of about the year 896 of the ordinary chronology; a Hebrew agricultural calendar of the 8th century; fifteen lion-weights from Nineveh of about the year 700; the Siloam Inscription of the time of Hezekiah; about a score of seals; and, in 1911, a large number of ostraca of the time of Ahab.

5. Orthography of the Period:

In this oldest writing the vowels are rarely expressed, not even final vowels being indicated. The only mark besides the letters is a point separating the words. There are no special forms for final letters. Words are often divided at the ends of lines. The writing is from right to left. The characters of the Siloam Inscription and the ostraca show some attempt at elegant writing.

II. The Two Hebrew Scripts.

1. The Old Hebrew Alphabet:

Two distinct scripts were used by the Hebrews, an earlier and a later. The Old Hebrew alphabet contained 22 letters, all consonants. The order of these letters is known from that of the Greek, taken in order of their numerical values, and later by the alphabetic psalms, etc., and by the figure called ‘at-bash (see SHESHACH). In the acrostic passages, however, the order is not always the same; this may be due to corruption of the text. In the alphabet, letters standing together bear similar names. These are ancient, being the same in Greek as in Semitic. They were probably given from some fancied resemblance which the Phoenicians saw in the original Egyptian sign to some object.

2. Aramean Alphabets:

The development of the Phoenician alphabet called Aramaic begins about the 7th century BC. It is found inscribed as dockets on the cuneiform clay tablets of Nineveh, as the Phoenician letters were upon the lion-weights; on coins of the Persian satraps to the time of Alexander; on Egyptian inscriptions and papyri; and on the Palmyrene inscriptions. The features of this script are the following: The loops of the Hebrew letters beth (b), daleth (d), Teth (T), qoph (q) and resh (r), which are closed in the Phoenician and Old Hebrew, are open, the bars of the Hebrew letters he (h), waw (w), zayin (z), cheth (ch) and taw (t) are lost, and the tails of kaph (k), lamedh (l), mem (m), pe (p) and tsadhe (ts), which are vertical in the old Aramaic, begin in the Egyptian Aramaic to curve toward the left; words are divided, except in Palmyrene, by a space instead of a point; vowel-letters are freely used; and the use of ligatures involves a distinction of initial, medial and final forms. There are of course no vowel-marks.

3. The New Hebrew Scripture:

After the Jews returned from the exile, the Aramaic language was the lingua franca of the Seleucid empire, displacing Assyrian, Old Hebrew and Phoenician. The Phoenician script also had given place to the Aramaic in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. In Syria it divided into two branches, a northern which grew into Syriac, and a southern, or Jewish, from which the New Hebrew character was produced.

4. New Hebrew Inscriptions:

What is believed to be the oldest inscription in the modern Hebrew character is that in a cave at ‘Araq al-‘Amir near Heshbon, which was used as a place of retreat in the year 176 BC (Ant., XII, iv, 11; CIH, number 1). Others are: four boundary stones found at Gezer; the inscriptions over the "Tomb of James" really of the Beni Hezir (1Ch 24:15; Ne 10:20); that of Kefr Birim, assigned to the year 300 AD (CIH, number 17), in which the transition to the New Hebrew script may be said to be accomplished; and others have been found all over the Roman empire and beyond.


5. Summary:

The inscriptions show that the familiar Hebrew character is a branch of the Aramaic. In the 3rd century BC the latter script was in general use in those countries where Assyrio-Babylonian, Old Hebrew and Phoenician had been used before. The Jews, however, continued to employ the Old Hebrew for religious purposes especially, and the Samaritans still retain a form of it in their Bible (the Pentateuch).

III. The Change of Script.

It is now almost universally agreed that the script in which the Old Testament was written was at some time changed from the Phoenician to the Aramaic. But in the past many opinions have been held on the a subject.

1. Various Theories:

Rabbi Eleazar of Modin (died 135 AD), from the mention of the hooks (waws) in Ex 27:10 and from Es 8:9, denied any change at all. Rabbi Jehuda (died circa 210) maintained that the Law was given in the New Hebrew, which was later changed to the Old as a punishment, and then back to the New, on the people repenting in the time of Ezra. Texts bearing on the matter are 2Ki 5:7; 18:26; Isa 8:1, from which various deductions have been drawn. There may have been two scripts in use at the same time, as in Egypt (Herod. ii.36).

2. The Change in the Law:

In regard to the change in the Law, the oldest authority, Eleazar ben Jacob (latter part of the 1st century AD), declared that a Prophet at the time of the Return commanded to write the Torah in the new or square character. Next Rabbi Jose (a century later) states (after Ezr 4:7) that Ezra introduced a new script and language. But the locus classicus is a passage in the Talmud (Sanhedhrin 21b): "Originally the Law was given to Israel in the Hebrew character and in the Holy Tongue; it was given again to them in the days of Ezra in the Assyrian characters and in the Aramaic tongue. Israel chose for herself the Assyrian character and the Holy Tongue, and left the Hebrew character and the Aramaic tongue to the hedhyoToth." Here Hebrew = Old Hebrew; Assyrian = the new square character, and hedhyoToth is the Greek idiotai = the Hebrew ‘am ha-’arets, the illiterate multitude. From the 2nd century on (but not before), the Talmudic tradition is unanimous in ascribing the change of script in the Law to Ezra. The testimony of Josephus points to the Law at least being in the square character in his day (Ant., XII, ii, 1, 4). The Samaritan Pentateuch was almost certainly drawn up in the time of Nehemiah (compare 13:28; also Ant, XI, vii, 2), and points to the Old Hebrew being then in use. So Rabbi Chasda (died 309) refers the word hedhyoToth above to the Samaritans. On the other hand, the Samaritan Pentateuch may have been the original Law, common to both Israel and Judah. In any case it is written in a form of the Old Hebrew character.

3. In the Other Books:

In regard to the other books, the old script was used after Ezra’s time. Es 8:9 and Da 5:8 ff must refer to the unfamiliar Old Hebrew. So the Massoretic Text of 5:18 implies the New Hebrew, but only in the Law.

4. Evidence of the Septuagint:

The Greek translation known as the Septuagint was made in Alexandria, and is hardly evidence for Palestine. The Law was probably translated under Ptolemy II (284-247 BC), and the other books by the end of the 2nd century BC (compare Ecclesiasticus, Prologue). The variations of the Septuagint from the Massoretic Text point to an early form of the square character as being in use; but the Jews of Egypt had used Aramaic for some centuries before that.

5. Evidence of the Text Itself:

The variations between parallel passages in the Massoretic Text itself, such as Jos 21 and 1Ch 6; 2Sa 23 and 1Ch 11, etc., show that the letters most frequently confused are "d" and "r", which are similar in both the Old and New Hebrew; "b" and "d", which are more alike in the Old Hebrew; "w" and "y" and several others, which are more alike in the New Hebrew. Such errors evidently arose from the use of the square character, and they arose subsequent to the Septuagint, for they are not, except rarely, found in it. The square character is, then, later than the Septuagint.

6. Conclusion:

The square character was ascribed to Ezra as the last person who could have made so great a change, the text after his time being considered sacred. This is disproved by the fact of the coins of the Maccabees and of Bar Cochba being in the old character. The Talmud permits Jews resident outside Palestine to possess copies of the Law in Coptic, Median, Hebrew, etc. Here Hebrew can only mean the Old Hebrew script.

IV. Preservation of the Text.

1. Internal Conditions:

Judaism has always been a book religion: it stands or falls with the Old Testament, especially with the Pentateuch. Although no manuscript of the Hebrew Old Testament is older than the 10th century AD, save for one minute papyrus, we know, from citations, translations, etc., that the consonantal text of the Old Testament was in the 1st century AD practically what it is today. The Jews transliterated as well as translated their Bible. All the most important translations—the Septuagint, Aquila, Theodotion, Symmachus—were made by Jews and aimed at a more literal rendering of the Hebrew—that of Aquila being hardly Greek. The Syriac (Peshitta) seems to be also by Jews or Jewish Christians. Great care was taken of the text itself, and the slightest variant readings of manuscripts were noted. One manuscript belonging to Rabbi Meir (2nd century) is said to have omitted the references to "Admah and Zeboiim" in De 29:23 and to Bethlehem in Ge 48:7, and to have had other lesser variations, some of which were found also in the manuscript which, among other treasures, decked the triumph of Vespasian (BJ, VII, v, 7).

2. External Circumstances:

Religious persecution makes for the purity of the Scriptures by reducing the number of copies and increasing the care bestowed on those saved. The chief moments in which the existence of the Jewish Scriptures was threatened were the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple under Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC, in which the Book of Jashar and that of the Wars of the Lord may have been lost; the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, during which the possession of the sacred books was a capital offense (1 Macc 1:56,57; Ant, XII, v), in which the sources used by the Chronicler may have perished; and the capture of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD. By this time, however, the Law at least was known by heart. Josephus says Titus made him a gift of the sacred books (Vita, 75). It is also said that at one time only three copies of the Law were left, and that a text was obtained by taking the readings of two against one. However that may be, it is a fact that there are no variant readings in the Massoretic Text, such as there are in the New Testament.

3. The Septuagint Version: The only ancient version which can come into competition with the Massoretic Text is the Septuagint, and that on two grounds. First, the manuscripts of the Septuagint are of the 4th century AD, those of the Massoretic Text of the 10th. Secondly, the Septuagint translation was made before a uniform Hebrew text, such as our Massoretic Text, existed. The quotations in the New Testament are mainly from the Septuagint. Only in the Book of Jeremiah, however, are the variations striking, and there they do not greatly affect the sense of individual passages. The Greek has also the Apocrypha. The Septuagint is an invaluable aid to restoring the Hebrew where the latter is corrupt.

V. The Text in the 1st Century AD.

The Massoretic Text of the 1st Christian century consisted solely of consonants of an early form of the square character. There was no division into chapters or, probably, verses, but words were separated by an interstice, as well as indicated by the final letters. The four vowel-letters were used most freely in the later books. A few words were marked by the scribes with dots placed over them.

1. Word Separation:

The Samaritan Pentateuch still employs the point found on the Moabite Stone to separate words. This point was probably dropped when the books came to be written in the square character. Wrong division of words was not uncommon.

Tradition mentions 15 passages noted on the margin of the Hebrew Bible (Ge 30:11, etc.) in which two words are written as one. One word is written as two in Jud 16:25; 1Sa 9:1, etc. Other passages in which tradition and text differ as to the word-division are 2Sa 5:2; Eze 42:9; Job 38:12; Ezr 4:12. The Septuagint frequently groups the letters differently from the Massoretic Text, e.g. (see the commentaries) Ho 11:2; 1Ch 17:10; Ps 73:4; 106:7.

2. Other Breaks in the Text:

The verse-division was not shown in the prose books. The present division is frequently wrong and the Septuagint different from the Hebrew: e.g. Ge 49:19,20; Ps 42:6,7; Jer 9:5,6; Ps 90:2,3. Neither was there any division into chapters, or even books. Hence, the number of the psalms is doubtful. The Greek counts Psalms 9 and 10 as one, and also Psalms 114 and 115, at the same time splitting Psalms 116 and 147 each into two. The Syriac follows the Greek with regard to Psalms 114 and 147. Some manuscripts make one psalm of 42 and 43. In Ac 13:33, Codex Bezae, Ps 2 appears as Ps 1.

3. Final Forms of Letters:

Final forms of letters are a result of the employment of ligatures. In the Old Hebrew they do not occur, nor apparently in the text used by the Septuagint. Ligatures begin to make their appearance in Egyptian, Aramaic, and Palmyrene. Final forms for the letters k, margin, n, p, ts, were accepted by the 1st century, and all other final forms were apparently rejected.

4. Their Origin:

The first rabbi to mention the final forms is Mathiah ben Harash (a pupil of Rabbi Eleazar who died in 117 AD), who refers them to Moses. They are often referred to in the Talmud and by Jerome. The Samaritan Chronicle (11th century) refers them to Ezra. In point of fact, they are not so old as the Septuagint translation, as is proved by its variations in such passages as 1Sa 1:1; 20:40; Ps 16:3; 44:5; Jer 16:19; 23:14,23,33; Ho 6:5; Na 1:12; Zec 11:11; Ecclesiasticus 3:7. From the fact that the final forms make up the Hebrew expression for "from thy watchers," their invention was referred in the 3rd century to the prophets (compare Isa 52:8; Hab 2:1).

5. Conclusion:

After the adoption of the square character, therefore, the only breaks in the text of prose books were the spaces left between the words. Before the 1st century there was much uncertainty as to the grouping of the letters into words. After that the word-division was retained in the copies, even when it was not read (as in 2Sa 5:2, etc.). At first the final form would occur at the end of the ligature, not necessarily at the end of the word. Remains of this will be found in 1Ch 27:12; Isa 9:6; Ne 2:13; Job 38:1; 40:6. When the ligatures were discarded, these forms were used to mark the ends of words. The wonder is that there are not more, or even an initial, medial and final form for every letter, as in Arabic and Syriac.

6. The Vowel-Letters:

The four letters, ‘,h, w, y, seem to have been used to represent vowel sounds from the first. They are found in the manuscripts, but naturally less freely on stone inscriptions than in books. The later the text the more freely they occur, though they are commoner in the Samaritan Pentateuch than in the Massoretic Text. The copies used by the Septuagint had fewer of them than the Textus Receptus, as is proved by their translations, of Am 9:12; Eze 32:29; Ho 12:12, and other passages, The four letters occur on Jewish coins of the 2nd century BC and AD.

7. Anomalous Forms:

In the 1st and 2nd centuries the vowel-letters were retained in the text, even when not read (Ho 4:6; Mic 3:2, etc.). In the Pentateuch, De 32:13 seems to be the sole instance. The Pentateuch is peculiar also in that in it the 3rd person singular, masculine, of the personal pronoun is used for the feminine, which occurs only 11 times; Ge 2:12; 14:2; compare Isa 30:33; 1Ki 17:15; Job 31:11. This phenomenon probably arises from the stage in the growth of the script when waw (w) and yodh (y) were identical in form; compare Ps 73:16; Ec 5:8. Frequently the 1st person singular perfect of the verb is written defectively (Ps 140:13; 2Ki 18:20; compare Isa 36:5); similarly the "h" of na‘arah (De 22). All this shows there was no attempt to correct the text. It was left as it was found.

8. The Dotted Words:

When a scribe had miscopied a word he sometimes placed dots over it, without striking it out. There are 15 passages so marked in the Old Testament, and the word naqudh, "pointed," is generally placed in the margin. The word may also be read naqodh, "speckled" (Ge 30:32), or niqqudh, "punctuation." It is also possible that these points may denote that the word is doubtful. They occur in the following places: Ge 16:5; 18:9; 19:33; 33:4; 37:12; Nu 3:39; 9:10; 21:30; 29:15; De 29:28 (29); Ps 27:13; 2Sa 19:20; Isa 44:9; Eze 41:20; 46:22. For conjectures as to the meanings of the points in each passage, the reader must be referred to the commentaries.

9. Their Antiquity:

These points are found even on synagogue rolls which have, with one exception, no other marks upon them, beyond the bare consonants and vowel-letters. Only those in the Pentateuch and Psalms are mentioned in the Talmud or Midrashim, and only one, Nu 9:10, in the Mishna before the end of the 2nd century, by which time its meaning had been lost. The lower limit, therefore, for their origin is the end of the 1st century AD. They have been, like most things not previously annexed by Moses, assigned to Ezra; but the Septuagint shows no sign of them. They, therefore, probably were inserted at the end of the 1st century BC, or in the 1st century AD. As four only occur in the Prophets and one in the Hagiographa, most care was evidently expended on the collation of the, Law. Blau thinks the reference originally extended to the whole verse or even farther, and became restricted to one or more letters.

10. The Inverted Nuns ("n"):

In Nu 10:35 and 36 are enclosed within two inverted nuns as if with brackets. In Ps 107 inverted nuns should stand before verses 23-28 and 40, with a note in the foot margin. These nuns were originally dots (Siphre’ on Numbers) and stand for naqkudh, indicating that the verses so marked are in their wrong place (Septuagint Nu 10:34-36).

11. Large and Small Letters:

Large letters were used as our capitals at the beginnings of books, etc. Thus there should be a capital nun at the beginning of the second part of Isaiah. But they serve other purposes also. The large waw (w) in Le 11:42 is the middle letter of the Torah; so in the Israelites’ Credo (De 6:4). Other places are De 32:4,6; Ex 34:7,14; Le 11:30; 13:33; Isa 56:10, and often. Buxtorf’s Tiberias gives 31 large and 32 small letters. Examples of the latter will be found in Ge 2:4; 23:2; Le 1:1; Job 7:5, etc. The explanations given are fanciful.

12. Suspended Letters and Divided Waw ("w"):

There are four letters suspended above the line in the Massoretic Text. They will be found in Jud 18:30; Job 38:13,15; Ps 80:14 (13). The last probably indicates the middle letter of the Psalter. The first points to Manasseh being put for Moses. The two in Job are doubtful. In Nu 25:12 will be found a waw cut in two, perhaps to indicate that the covenant was in abeyance for a time.

13. Abbreviations:

Abbreviations are found on early Jewish inscriptions and on coins. Thus the letter shin stands for shanah =" year"; yodh sin =" Israel"; ‘aleph = 1; beth = 2, etc. In the text used by the Septuagint the name Yahweh seem to have been indicated merely by a yodh, e.g. Ps 31:7 (6), "I hate" = Septuagint 30:7, "Thou hatest" (compare 5:5), and the yodh of the Hebrew =" O Yahweh." In Jud 19:18 the Hebrew "house of Yahweh" = Septuagint "my house"; so Jer 6:11; 25:37. A curious example will be found Jer 3:19. The great corruption found in the numbers in the Old Testament is probably due to letters or ciphers being employed. For wrong numbers compare 2Sa 10:18; 24:13; 1Ki 4:26 with parallel passages; also compare Ezr 2 with Ne 7, etc. Possible examples of letters representing numbers are: Ps 90:12, "so" = ken, and kaph plus nun = 20 plus 50 = 70; 1Sa 13:1, ben shanah is perhaps for ben n shanah, "fifty years old"; in 1Sa 14:14, an apparently redundant k is inserted after "twenty men"; k = 20.

14. Conclusion:

Such was the Hebrew text in the 1st Christian century. It was a Received Text obtained by collating manuscripts and rejecting variant readings. Henceforward there are no variant readings. But before that date there were, for the Greek and Samaritan often differ from the Hebrew. The Book of Jubilees (middle of 1st century) also varies. The fidelity of the scribes who drew up this text is proved by the many palpable errors which it contains.

VI. Alteration of Principal Documents.

1. Yahweh and Baal:

For various reasons the original documents were altered by the scribes, chiefly from motives of taste and religion. In the earliest literary period there was no objection to the use of the divine name Yahweh; later this was felt to be irreverent, and ‘Elohim was put in its place; later still Yahweh was written, but not pronounced. Hence, is Psalms 1-41, Yahweh occurs 272 times; ‘Elohim is hardly used as a proper name; in Psalms 42-83 ‘Elohim occurs 200 times, Yahweh, only 44 times; compare especially Ps 14 with 53; 40:14-18 with 70; 50:7 with Ex 20:2. Lastly in Psalms 90-150 Yahweh is again used, and ‘Elohim as a proper name does not occur except in citations in 108 and 144:9. Compare also 2Ki 22:19 with 2Ch 34:27. A precisely parallel change is that of Baal into bosheth ("shame"). At first there was no objection to compounding names with Baal meaning Yahweh (Jud 6:32; 8:35). Then objection was taken to it (Ho 2:16 or 18), and it was changed into Bosheth (Jer 3:24; Ho 9:10); hence, Ishbosheth (2Sa 2-4), Mephibosheth (2Sa 4:4), Eliada (2Sa 5:16), Jerrubesheth (2Sa 11:21). Later still the objection lost force and the old form was restored, Eshbaal (1Ch 8:33, 9:39), Merribaal (1Ch 8:34), Beeliada (1Ch 14:7; compare 3:8). The Septuagint follows the Hebrew; it treats Baal as feminine, i.e. = Bosheth. So too Molech takes its vowels from Bosheth; it should be Melech.

2. Euphemistic Expressions:

Words have been changed from motives of taste, e.g. "bless" is put for "curse" or "blaspheme" (1Ki 21:10, Septuagint 20:10; Job 1:5; 2:5,9, where the word "Lord" follows immediately; otherwise Ex 22:27, etc.). Sometimes "the enemies of" was inserted (e.g. 2Sa 12:14). Another use for the latter expression is 1Sa 25:22, where it is not in the Greek Compare further, 2Sa 7:12,14; 24:1, with the parallel passages in Ch.

3. "Tiqqun Copherim":

In some 18 places the text was slightly altered by the correction (tiqqun) of the scribes, without any indication being inserted to show that it had been altered. The following are the passages: Ge 18:22, which orginally ran "Yahweh stood before Abraham"; Nu 11:15; 12:12; 1Sa 3:13; 2Sa 16:12; 20:1: Eze 8:17; Hab 1:12; Mal 1:13; Zec 2:8 (12); Jer 2:11; Job 7:20; Ho 4:7; Job 32:3; La 3:20; Ps 106:20. The remaining two, to make 18, may be accounted for either by the third containing more than one correction, or by counting the parallels to the sixth. The Septuagint ignores the supposed original forms of the text, except in the case of 1Sa 3:13 and Job 7:20. The Syriac has the supposed original form of Nu 12:12 and Ciphre of Nu 11:15, that is, it survived till the 2nd century AD. But the rest must have been corrected very early. Like the tiqqun is the ‘iTTur copherim, that is, the substraction or deletion of the conjunction "and" in five places, namely, Ge 18:5; 24:55; Nu 31:2 and Ps 68:25 (26) before the word "after"; and in Ps 36:6 (7) before "thy judgments."

VII. Scribal Errors in the Text.

The Hebrew text of the Old Testament in no way resembles a text of one of the classics which is obtained by collating many manuscripts and eliminating all errors as far as possible. It is to all intents and purposes a manuscript, and displays all the forms of error found in all manuscripts. These are the following, classifying them according to their source.

1. Misunderstanding:

Failure to understand the sense gives rise to wrong division into words, e.g. Am 6:12, "with oxen" (plural) should probably be "with oxen (collective) the sea"; Jer 15:10; 22:14; Ps 73:4 have found their way into the text, e.g. Ps 40:8,9, "In a volume of a book it is written ‘alay," referring to li in 40:7; 2Sa 1:18 (see Wellhausen).

2. Errors of the Eye:

Due to the eye are repetitions, transpositions, omissions, mistaking one letter for another, and so forth. Repetitions will be found: 2Sa 6:3,4 (Septuagint); 1Ki 15:6 (= 14:30); Ex 30:6 (Septuagint); Le 20:10; 1Ch 9:35-44 = 8:29-38; Isa 41:1 (compare 40:31); 53:7; Ps 35:15; 37:40, and very often. Omissions may be supplied from parallel passages or VSS, as 1Ch 8:29-31 from 1Ch 9:35-37; compare 9:41; Jos 22:34 (from Syriac); Jud 16:2; Ge 4:8 (Samaritan, Peshitta); Pr 10:10 Septuagint, Syriac); 11:16 Septuagint, Syriac); 2Sa 17:3 (Septuagint). Transpositions of letters will be found (Jos 6:13; Isa 8:12; compare 8:13,14). Sometimes a letter slips from word into another, as in 1Sa 14:50,51; Jer 18:23; Ps 139:20. Other examples are Jud 10:12, and many times. Words are transposed in Ps 35:7; 95:7; 1Ki 6:17, etc. Examples of transposition of verses will be found: Ge 24:29 follows 24:30a; Isa 38:21,22 follows 38:8; compare 2Ki 20:6-8; Isa 40:19,20 should go with 41:6 ff. Most omissions and repetitions are due to homoeoteleuton or homoearchy. Similar letters are frequently mistaken for one another. Examples are: d and r (Ps 110:3; 2Sa 22:11; compare Ps 18:11). Traditions mention 6 other places, as well as 154 in which waw and yodh are interchanged; other examples are: Jos 9:4; De 14:13; compare Le 11:14; 2Ch 22:10; compare 2Ki 11:1.

3. Errors of the Ear:

Errors du to the ear would arise when one scribe was dictating to another. Such are: lo’ =" not," for lo =" to him," in 15 places (Ps 100:3, etc.). Also Yahweh and Adonai would be sounded alike. Again we have Adoram in 1Ki 12:18 and Hadoram in 2Ch 10:18.

4. Errors of Memory:

Failure of memory in copying would explain the occurrence of synonymous words in parallel passages without any apparent motive, as for "I call" in 2Sa 22:7 and Ps 18:7, and the interchange of Yahweh and Adonai. In Jer 27:1 Jehoiakim should be Zedekiah.

5. Errors of Carelessness and Ignorance:

Many of the scribal errors in the Massoretic Text are due to carelessness and ignorance: in Ge 36:2, the last "daughter" should be "son"; Nu 26:8, "son" for son, a common error; compare 1Ch 3:22; 1Ch 6:13 (28), Vashni means "and the second" (wehasheni); compare 1Sa 8:2; also in 1Sa 13:1 (compare above V, 13), where a number has dropped out, as also perhaps Isa 21:16, and 2Sa 3:7, where Ishbosheth has fallen like Mephibosheth. In 2Sa 23:18,19 the first "three" should be "thirty." Compare also Ge 3:10 (Syr); 2Ch 22:6; Eze 43:13, and often. The Books of Sirach seem to be the most carelessly copied of all the Old Testament books, though the text of Ezekiel is in some respects more unintelligible. In Jeremiah, the Septuagint is shorter by one-eighth than the Hebrew, but it is doubtful which is original.

VIII. History of the Text.

The consonantal text of the Old Testament was what it now is by the 1st or at latest the 2nd Christian century. During the next four centuries it was minutely studied, the number of its words and even of its letters being counted. The results of this study are found chiefly in the Talmud. All such study was oral. During this period the text remained a purely consonantal text plus the puncta extraordinaria.

1. Changes Made in Reading:

The text was not always read, however, exactly as it was written. Soon after the return from Babylon changes were made. Perhaps the earliest was that the proper name Yahweh was read Adonai, whence the Septuagint, and through it the New Testament "Lord." The reason will be found in Le 24:11, where render "pronounced the name." Sometimes the change was due to motives of taste (De 28:30; 1Sa 6:11; 2Ki 18:27); but the commonest ground was grammar or logic. Thus a word was frequently read which was not in the text at all (Jud 20:13; 2Sa 18:20); or a word was omitted in reading (2Sa 15:21; 2Ki 5:18); or the letters of a word were transposed, as in Jos 6:13; or one letter was put for another, especially waw for yodh or yodh for waw; or words were divided in reading otherwise than in the text (see above V, 1). The written text is called the Kethibh ("written"); what was read is called the Qere ("read").

2. Preservation of Text:

The scribes during these centuries, besides fixing the reading, took means to preserve the text by counting the words and letters, and finding the middle verse (Jud 10:8; Isa 33:21), and so forth. The middle verse of the Law is Le 8:7, and the middle of the words falls in 10:16. The middle verse of the Hebrew Bible is Jer 6:7. Note was made of words written abnormally (Ho 10:14; Mic 1:15; Isa 3:8) and lists were made up. All such lists were retained in the mind; nothing was written.

3. Division into Verses:

When the public reading of the Law was accompanied by an Aramaic translation (Ne 8:8), the division of the text into verses would arise spontaneously. The Mishna gives rules for the number of verses to be read at a time before translating. These verses were separated by a space only, as the words were. Hence, versions frequently divide differently for the Hebrew, as Ho 4:11; Isa 1:12. In the Hebrew itself there are 28 old verse divisions no longer observed (see Baer on Ho 1:2). The space is called picqa’ and the verse pacuq.

4. Sections of the Law:

About the same time the Law was divided into sections (parashah) for the annual reading. In Palestine the Law was read through once in 3 1/2 years; in Babylon once a year. Hence, the Law is divided into 54 sections (Ge 6:9; 12:1, etc.) for the annual reading. It is also divided into 379 "shut" sections, indicated by a space in the middle of a line, and 290 "open" sections, indicated by a space at the end of a line. In printed texts these sections are noted by the letters c and p, but, if they coincide with one of the 54, by ccc or ppp. The Palestinian division was into 154 cedharim.

5. Sections of the Prophets:

From Maccabean times 54 passages (haphTaroth) were selected from the Prophets for the purposes of the synagogue (Lu 4:17). The Prophets were also divided into smaller sections. As in the case of the Law (Ex 6:28), there are cases of false division (Isa 56:9; Hag 1:15).

6. Poetical Passages:

In the Hebrew Bible certain passages were early written in a peculiar way to resemble the bricks in the wall of a house, either in three columns, a half-brick upon a brick and a brick upon a half-brick (Ex 15; Jud 5; 2Sa 22), or in two columns, a half-brick upon a half-brick and a brick upon a brick (De 32; Jos 12; Es 9). In the Septuagint, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiates, Canticles, Job are written in stichs; but that this was not done in Hebrew seems proved by the variations as to the number of lines (Ps 65:8; 90:2,11).

7. Division into Books:

The number of books is 24, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles each counting as one, Ezr including Neh, the twelve Minor Prophets counting one book (Mic 3:12 is the middle). The Law counts 5 books, Psalms one, though the division of it into 5 books is ancient (compare Ps 106:48 with 1Ch 16:35,36). By joining Ru to Judges and Lamentations to Jeremiah, the number 22 was obtained—the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. When, probably about the 3rd century AD, leather rolls gave place to parchment books, it would be possible to have the whole Bible in one volume and the question of the order of the books would arise. The order in the Talmud is as follows: The Law (5), the Prophets (8), Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the XII, the Hagiographa or Kethubhim (11), Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiates, Canticles, Lamentation, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, Chronicles. The Prophets are usually subdivided into Former: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings; and Latter: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and the XII. The traditional or "Masoretic" order places Isaiah before Jeremiah, and in the Hagiographa the order is: Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Canticles, Ecclesiates, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, the middle verse being Ps 130:3. The order found in printed texts is that of German manuscripts. The books receive their names from a word near the beginning, from their contents, or from their supposed author.

IX. Vocalization of the Text.

About the time of the Reformation it was the universal belief that the vowel-marks and other points were of equal antiquity with the consonants. The Jews believed Moses received them orally and Ezra reduced them to writing.

1. Antiquity of the Points:

The first to assign a late date to the points was Elias Levita (1468-1549). The battle was fought out in the 17th century. Ludovicus Cappellus (died 1658) argued for a date about 600 AD. The Buxtorfs defended the old view. The following are the facts.

2. Probable Date of Invention:

When the Septuagint was made, the Hebrew text had not even as many vowel-letters as it has now, and still less points; nor when the Syriac version was made in the 2nd century, or Jerome’s Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) between 393-405, or the earlier Targums. Lastly, the points were unknown to the Talmud. They, therefore, did not exist before 600 AD. The earliest authority on the points is Aaron ben Asher of the school of Tiberias (died about 989). He wrote a copy of the Hebrew Bible with all the points, which became the standard codex. The probable date is, therefore, taken to be about the year 700; and this agrees with what was taking place in regard to Greek, Syriac and Arabic manuscripts. The Jews probably borrowed from the Syrians.

3. Various Systems and Recensions:

No doubt, at first, many systems of pointing existed. Of these, two survived, the Palestinian and Babylonian, or superlinear. The chief features of the latter are that the signs are placed above the line; it has no sign for "e" (ceghol), and has but one system of accents. The Palestinian, the one familiar to us, exists in two recensions, those of Ben Asher and of his contemporary, Ben Naphtali of Babylon; hence, a Western and an Eastern.

X. The Palestinian System.

Since the vocalization of the text took place about 700 AD, it will be understood that it differs considerably from the living language. What that was may be found from the transliteration of proper names in the Septuagint, in Origen and Jerome, and from a comparison with modern Arabic.

1. The Consonants:

A comparison with Arabic indicates that the Hebrew letter cheth (ch), and it is certain from the Septuagint that the Hebrew letter ‘ayin (‘), had each two distinct sounds. This difference is not shown in the pointing, though a point was used to distinguish the two sounds of "b", "g", "d", "k", "p", "t", and of "s", and "sh" and the two values of "h". The absence of this point is indicated by rapheh. The same point marks the doubling of a consonant. The gutturals and "r" are not doubled, though they certainly were when the language was spoken (compare Ge 43:26; Eze 16:4, etc.).

2. The Vowels:

The system of vowel-marks attempts to reproduce the sounds exactly. Thus the short a-sound which must precede a guttural letter is indicated, and before a guttural "i" and "u" are replaced by "e" and "o". On the other hand, "y" before "i" does not seem to have been sounded in some cases. Thus the Septuagint has Israel, but Ieremias. Shewa’ is said by Ben Asher to sound "i" before "y"; before a guttural it took the sound of the guttural’s vowel, as mo’odh (me’odh), and had other values as well.

3. The Accents:

There is a special accentual system for the poetical books, Proverbs, Psalms, and Job (except the prose parts). The titles and such marks as celah are in the Psalms accented as forming part of the verse. The accents had three values, musical, interpunctional, and strictly accentual. But these values have to do with the language, not as it was spoken, but as it was chanted in the public reading of the synagogue.

4. Anomalous Pointings:

The words were not always pointed in the usual way, but sometimes according to subjective considerations. Thus the phrase "to see the face of God" is pointed "to appear before God," on account of Ex 33:20 (Ps 42:3; Isa 1:12). Similarly in Ec 3:21, "which goeth upward" is put for "whether it goeth upward." See also Jer 34:18; Isa 7:11. Frequently the punctuation is inconsistent with itself. Thus, ‘gathered to his peoples’ (Ge 35:29), but "gathered to my people" (singular, Ge 49:29). So pelishtim, "Philistines," receives the article with prepositions, otherwise not. In many places two pointings are mixed, as if to give a choice of readings (Ps 62:4; 68:3, and often).

XI. The Masorah.

1. Meaning of the Term:

The Hebrew text as printed with all the points and accents is called the Masoretic text. Masorah, or better, Maccoreth, is derived from a root meaning "to hand down" (Nu 31:5). This tradition began early. Rabbi Akiba (died 135) called it a "hedge about the Law." It tells the number of times a particular expression occurs, and mentions synonymous expressions, and so forth. The remarks placed in the side margin of the codex, often merely a letter denoting the number of times the word occurs, are called the Masorah parva. The notes were afterward expanded and placed in the top and bottom margins and called the Masorah magna. Notes too long for insertion in the margin were placed sometimes at the beginning, generally at the end of the codex, and called the Masorah finalis. The Masorah differs with different manuscripts; and there is an Eastern and a Western Masorah.

2. The "Qere" and "Kethibh":

The oldest and most important part of the Masorah lies in the readings which differ from the written text, called Qere. These may represent, variant readings of manuscripts, especially of them called cebhir. The most are mere errata and corrigenda of the text. Such are the four Q. perpetua, ‘adhonay (for YHWH), Jerusalem, Issachar and hu’, in the case of which the read form is not appended at the foot of the page. Sometimes the emendation is right, as in Am 8:8; compare 9:5; sometimes the Kethibh represents an archaic form (Jud 9:8,12; Isa 32:11).

A Qere was inserted at 1Sa 17:34 to correct a misprint in the Venice Bible of 1521.

3. Other Features:

Other notes at the foot of the page draw attention to redundant or defective writing. Directions for the arrangement of the text are in Ge 49:8; De 31:28, and elsewhere. Each book concludes with a note giving the number of verses, sections, middle verse and other particulars about the book. The second last verses of Isaiah, Malalachi, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes are repeated after the last, which is ill-omened.

XII. Manuscripts and Printed Texts.

1. Manuscripts:

The manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible are not nearly so old as those of the Greek, old Hebrew manuscripts being generally destroyed. By far the oldest manuscript of any part of the Bible is the Papyrus Nash of about 150 AD, containing the Decalogue and Shema‘ (De 6:4). Next comes the Petersburg codex of the latter Prophets of 916 AD, though Ginsburg considers a manuscript of the Pentateuch (British Museum Orient. 4445) older. The pointing of the latter is Palestinian; of the former, supper-linear. The oldest manuscript of the whole Old Testament is dated 1010 AD.

2. Early Printed Texts:

The following are the chief printed texts: The Psalter of 1477, place unknown, with commentary of Kimchi. The first few psalms are voweled; the Pentateuch, 1482, Bologna, with Rashi and Targum Onkelos; perhaps the Five Rolls appeared at the same time; the Prophets, unpointed, 1485-86, at Soncino, with Rashi and Kimchi; the Hagiographa, 1486-87, at Naples, with points, but not accents, and commentaries (In the last two YHWH and ‘Elohim are spelled YHDH and ‘Elodhim); the 2nd edition of the Pentateuch at Faro in Portugal, 1487, first without commentary; the editio princeps of the whole Old Testament with points and accents, but no commentary, finished at Soncino, February 14, 1488, reprinted in 1491-93, and in the Brescia Bible of 1494. The last was the one used by Luther. Owing to persecution, the next edition was not till 1511-1517.

3. Later Editions:

The first Christian edition of the Hebrew text is that contained in the Complutensian Polyglot, finished July 10, 1517. It has many peculiarities, and first discarded the Masoretic sections for the Christian chapters, the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) being followed. The first rabbinic Bible—that is, pointed and accented text, with Masorah, Targums, and commentaries—was printed by Daniel Bomberg at Venice in 1516-17. The division of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and Ezra into two books each is first marked here in a purely Hebrew text, and the consonants of the Qere first given in the margin. Previously the vowels were inserted in the text only. Thus in Isa 44:14, Luther did not observe the small nun, taking it for a zayin. What is called, however, the editio princeps of the rabbihic Bible is Bomberg’s second edition, edition by Jacob ben Chayyim (1524-25). This forms the standard edition of the Massoretic Text. Samuel and Kings are each treated as two books. Cebhirim are noticed for the first time, and the Qeres marked with q. The Polyglot of Arias Montanus (1567-71) used the dilatable letters’," h", "l", "t", "m", broadened to fill up lines, and first numbered the chapters (in Hebrew letters). Buxtorf’s rabbinic Bible appeared in 1618-19; the Paris Polyglot in 1629-44; the London Polyglot of Walton in 1654-57, which first gives the Ethiopic and Persian VSS; that of Athias in 1661, which first inserted the numbers of Christian chapters in the clauses at the end of the books of the Law, the Mantua edition of 1744 inserting them for all the books. In the last is embodied the Masoretic commentary of Solomon de Norzi (1626). Recent editors are Baer and Ginsburg. Special mention must be made of the edition of Kittel which inserts the variant readings of the versions at the foot of the page.

4. Chapters and Verses:

In modern editions of the Hebrew text the numbers of the Christian chapters are inserted. The chapters had their origin in the Vulgate, and are variously ascribed to Lanfranc (died 1089), Stephen Langton (died 1228), but with most probability to Hugo de Sancto Care (13th century). They mostly coincide with the Masoretic sections, and came in with the Polyglots from 1517 on, being used first in a purely Hebrew text in 1573-1574. Some modern editions mark the verses in the margin, the 5’s in Hebrew letters, except 15, which is denoted by "Tw" = 9 plus 6, instead of "yh" = 10 plus 5, because the latter would = Yah. After the Clausula Masoretica at the end of Chronicles and elsewhere, there is an extended note taken from 1Ch 19:13 (2Sa 10:12).


Benzinger, Hebraische Archaologie, Leipzig, 1894; Berger, Histoire de l’ecriture dans l’antiquite, Paris, 1892; Blau, Masoretische Untersuchungen, Strassburg, 1891; Einleitung in die heilige Schrift, Budapest, 1894; Studien zum althebraischen Buchwesen, Pt. I, Strassburg, 1902; Buhl, Canon and Text (English translation by J. Macpherson), Edinburgh, 1892; Butin, The Ten Nequdoth of the Torah, Baltimore, 1906; Buxtorf (father), Tiberias side Commentarius Masorethicus, Basel, 1620; Buxtorf (son), Tractatus de Punctorum Origins, etc., Basel, 1648; Cappellus, Arcanum Punctationis Revelatum, Leyden, 1624; Chwolson, Corpus Inscriptionum Hebraicarum, Petersburg, 1882; Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text of Samuel, Oxford, 1913; Edersheim, History of the Jewish Nation, London, 1896; Etheridge, Jerusalem and Tiberias ("Post-Biblical Hebrew Literature"), London, 1856; Frankel, Ueber palastinische und alexandrinische Schriftforschung, Breslau, 1854; Geden, The Massoretic Notes Contained in the Edition of the Hebrew Scriptures, Published by the British and Foreign Bible Society, London, 1905; Geiger, Urschrift und Uebersetzungen der Bibel, Breslau, 1857; Ginsburg, Introduction to the .... Hebrew Bible, London, 1897; The Massorah, London, 1880-85; Kennedy, The Note-Line in the Hebrew Scriptures, Edinburgh, 1903; Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient manuscripts, London, 1898; King, The Psalms in Three Collections (on the triennial cycle), Cambridge, 1898; Konig, Einleitung in das Altes Testament, Bonn, 1893; Loisy, Histoire critique du texts et des versions de la Bible, Paris, 1892-95; Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebraischen Archaologie, Freiburg and Leipzig, 1894; De Rouge, Memoire sur l’origine egyptienne de l’alphabet phenicien, Paris, 1874; Schurer, Geschichte des judischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi (English translation by John Macpherson and others), Edinburgh, 1890; Schwab, Jerusalem Talmud (French translation), Paris, 1871-90; Strack, Prolegomena Critica in Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum, Leipzig, 1873; Einleitung in den Talmud, Lelpzig, 1894; Taylor, The Alphabet, London, 1883; T.H. Weir, A Short History of the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, London, 1907; Winckler, Die Thontafeln yon Tell-el-Amarna, Berlin, 1896; The Tell-el-Amarna Letters, Berlin, London and New York, 1896; Wolf, Bibliotheca Hebraea, Hamburg and Leipzig, 1715-33; Wunsche, Bibliotheca Rabbinica, Leipzig, 1880.


Cheyne and Black, EB, London, 1899-1903; Fairbairn, Imperial Bible Dict., London, 1866 ("OT," "Scriptures," "Writing," by D. H. Weir); HDB, Edinburgh, 1898-1904 ("Text of the Old Testament," by H. L. Strack); Herzog, RE, Leipzig, 1896 ff; Jew Encyclopedia, New York and London, 1901-6; Vigoureux, Dictionnaire de la Bible, Paris, 1891 ff.

Hebrew texts:

Dikduke ha Te‘amim des Ahron .... ben Asher, edition by Baer and Strack, Leipzig, 1879; Massoreth ha-Massoreth of Elias Levita, with English translation and notes by C.D. Ginsburg, London, 1867; Midrash hag-Gadol: Genesis, edition by S. Schechter, Cambridge, 1902; Das Buch, Ochla Weochla, edition by Frensdorff, Hanover, 1864; Mishna, With Latin translation, by Guil. Surenhusius, Amsterdam, 1698-1703; Sifra, edition by Jacob Schlossberg, Vienna, 1862; Sifre, edition by M. Friedmann (first part), Vienna, 1864; Soferim, edition by Joe Muller, Vienna, 1878; Babylonian Talmud, edition (With German translation) by Lazarus Goldschmidt, Berlin, 1896—.


Academy, XXXI, 454 "The Moabite Stone"; Good Words, 1870, 673, "The Moabite Stone," by D. H. Weir; Jewish Quarterly Review: Dr. A. Buchler on "The Triennial Cycle," V, 420, VI, 1; "E. G. King on the Influence of the Triennial Cycle upon the Psalter," by I. Abrahams, April, 1904; "Neue Masoretische Studien," by Blau, January, 1904; "On the Decalogue Papyrus," by F. C. Burkitt, April, 1903; Journal of Theological Studies, V, 203, "The Influence of the Triennial Cycle upon the Psalter," by E. G., King; PEF: "Heb Mosaic Inscription at Kerr Kenna," by Clermont-Ganneau, October, 1901; "On the Siloam Inscription," 1881, 198; "On the Excavations at Taanach and Megiddo," 1904, 180, 1905, 78; Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology: E. J. Pilcher, "On the Date of the Siloam Inscription," XIX, 165, XX, 213; "On the Decalogue Papyrus," by S. A. Cook, January, 1903 "Hebrew Illuminated manuscripts of the Bible of the 11th and 12th Centuries," by M. Caster, XXII, 226; Scottish Review, IX, 215, "The Apocryphal Character of the Moabite Stone," by Albert Lowy; Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica, III, 1, "The Introduction of the Square Characters in Biblical Manuscripts, and an Account of the Earliest Manuscripts of the Old Testament, with a Table of Alphabets and Facsimiles," by Ad. Neubauer; Mittheilungen und Nachrichten des deutschen Palaestina-Vereins: "On the Excavations at Taanach," by Sellin, 1902, 13, 17, 33, 1903, 1, and 1905, number 3; "On the Excavations at Tell el Mutesellim," by Schumacher, 1904, 14, 33, and 1906, number 3; and by Benzinger, 1904, 65; Zeitschrift des deutschen Palaestina-Vereins: "On the Siloam Inscription," by Socin, XXII, 61; Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenlandischen Gesellschaft: "Zur Geschichte der hebraischen Accents," by P. Kahle, 1901, 167.

Thomas Hunter Weir


tha-de’-us (Thaddaios): One of the Twelve Apostles (Mt 10:3; Mr 3:18). In Mt 10:3 the King James Version, the reading is "Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus." The name corresponds to Judas, the son (Revised Version), or brother (the King James Version), of James, given in the lists of Lu 6:16; Ac 1:13.


The "Gospel of the Ebionites," or "Gospel of the Twelve Apostles," of the 2nd century and mentioned by Origen, narrates that Thaddaeus was also among those who received their call to follow Jesus at the Sea of Tiberias (compare Mt 4:18-22).


According to the "Genealogies of the Twelve Apostles" (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 50), Thaddaeus was of the house of Joseph; according to the "Book of the Bee" he was of the tribe of Judah. There is abundant testimony in apocryphal literature of the missionary activity of a certain Thaddaeus in Syria, but doubt exists as to whether this was the apostle. Thus

(1) according to the "Ac of Peter" (compare Budge, II, 466 ff) Peter appointed Thaddaeus over the island of Syria and Edessa.

(2) The "Preaching of the blessed Judas, the brother of our Lord, who was surnamed Thaddaeus" (Budge, 357 ff), describes his mission in Syria and in Dacia, and indicates him as one of the Twelve.

(3) The "Acta Thaddaei" (compare Tischendorf, Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha, 1851, 261 ff) refers to this Thaddaeus in the text as one of the Twelve, but in the heading as one of the Seventy.

(4) The Abgar legend, dealing with a supposed correspondence between Abgar, king of Syria, and Christ, states in its Syriac form, as translated by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, I, xiii, 6-22) (compare THOMAS), that "after the ascension of Christ, Judas, who was also called Thomas, sent to Abgar the apostle Thaddaeus, one of the Seventy" (compare Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 76 ff).

Jerome, however, identifies this same Thaddaeus with Lebbaeus and "Judas .... of James" of Luke (Lu 6:16). Hennecks (op. cit., 473, 474) surmises that in the original form of the Abgar legend Thomas was the central figure, but that through the influence of the later "Ac of Thomas", which required room to be made for Thomas’ activity in India, a later Syriac recension was made, in which Thomas became merely the sender of Thaddaeus to Edessa, and that this was the form which Eusebius made use of in his translation According to Phillips (compare Phillips, The Doctrine of Addai the Apostle), who quotes Zahn in support, the confusion may be due to the substitution of the Greek name Thaddaeus for the name Addai of the Syriac manuscripts.


The general consensus seems to indicate, however, that both Thomas and Thaddaeus the apostle had some connection with Edessa. Of the various identifications of Thaddaeus with other Biblical personages which might be inferred from the foregoing, that with "Judas .... of James" is the only one that has received wide acceptance.

The burial place of Thaddaeus is variously placed at Beirut and in Egypt. A "Gospel of Thaddaeus" is mentioned in the Decree of Gelasius.

C. M. Kerr








tha’-mar (Thamar): the King James Version; Greek form of "Tamar" (thus Mt 1:3 the Revised Version (British and American)). Mother of Perez and Zerah.


tham’-uz (tammuz).








thank, thanks, thanks-giv’-ing, thanks’-giv-ing: Both the verb and the nouns appear almost uniformly for yadhah, and eucharisteo, and their cognates. Eucharisteo is the usual Greek verb for "to thank," but yadhah takes on this force only through its context and is rather a synonym for "raise" or "bless" (which see) Septuagint renders yadhah usually by exomologeo, "speak forth together" "praise" (compare Tobit 12:20; Sirach 39:6, etc., and the use of "thank" in English Versions of the Bible to correspond), and this verb reappears in Mt 11:25 parellel Lu 10:21, with English "thank" (the Revised Version margin "praise"). Compare the use of anthomologeomai (Lu 2:38) and homologeo (Heb 13:15, the King James Version "giving thanks," the Revised Version (British and American) "make confession"; the King James Version is preferable). For charis in the sense of "thanks" (note the singular "thank" in the King James Version Sirach 20:16; Lu 6:32-34), see GRACE. 1Pe 2:19 the King James Version has "thankworthy" for charis, the Revised Version (British and American) "acceptable," the Revised Version margin "grace."

Burton Scott Easton


tha’-ra, thar’-a (Thara): the King James Version; Greek form of "Terah" (thus, Lu 3:34 the Revised Version (British and American)).


thar’-a (Tharra): One of the two eunuchs, "keepers of the court," who with his companion Gabatha (Bigthan) formed a conspiracy against King Artaxerxes which was detected by Mordecai (Additions to Esther 12:1 =" Teresh" of Es 2:21; 6:2). Tharra and his companion were hanged. Josephus (BJ, II, vi, 4) calls him "Theodestes."


thar’-shish (tarshish).



thas’-i (Codex Venetus Thassei; Codex Vaticanus Thassis): The surname of Simon, the brother of Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 2:3; Syriac "Tharsi"). It is uncertain what the name means, perhaps "director" or "guide," since Simon was "a man of counsel," or "the zealous."




the’-a-ter (Ac 19:29,31).






the’-bez (tebhets, "‘brightness"; Codex Vaticanus Thebes; Codex Alexandrinus Thaibais): A city in Mt. Ephraim which refused submission to Abimelech when he set up as king of Israel. After the reduction of Shechem he turned his arms against Thebez. There was a strong tower within the city—the citadel—into which all the inhabitants gathered for safety, climbing onto the roof of the tower. Abimelech incautiously venturing near the tower, a woman cast an upper millstone upon his head and broke his skull. Fearing the shame of perishing by the hand of a woman, he persuaded his armor-bearer to thrust him through (Jud 9:50 ). The incident is alluded to in 2Sa 11:21. Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 13 Roman miles from Neapolis (Nablus) on the road to Scythopolis (Beisan). There is no doubt that it is represented by Tubas. This is a village situated in a district of considerable fertility, about 10 miles from Nablus. There are many olive trees. The rain is captured and led to rockcut cisterns, whence the village draws its water-supply. According to the Samaritans the tomb of Neby Toba marks the grave of the patriarch Asher.

W. Ewing


the-ko’-e (1 Macc 9:33).



the’-werd. "To thee-ward" (1Sa 19:4) = toward thee.





the-la’-sar (tela’ssar, telassar).



the-lur’-sas (Thelersas (1 Esdras 5:36)).



the-ok’-a-nus: 1 Esdras 9:14 the King James Version = the Revised Version (British and American) "Thocanus."


the-ok’-ra-si (theokratia, from theos, "a god," and kratos, "power"; after the analogy of the words "democracy," "aristocracy," and the like): "Theocracy" is not a Biblical word. The idea, however, is Biblical, and in strictness of speech exclusively Biblical. The realization of the idea is not only confined to Israel, but in the pre-exilic history of Israel the realization of the idea was confined to the Southern Kingdom, and in post-exilic history to the period between the return under Ezra and the days of Malachi.

For the word "theocracy" we are, by common consent, indebted to Josephus. In his writings it seems to occur but once (Apion, II, xvi). The passage reads as follows: "Our lawgiver had an eye to none of these," that is, these different forms of government, such as monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, and others of which Josephus had been speaking, "but, as one might say, using a strained expression, he set forth the national polity as a theocracy, referring the rule and might to God" (Stanton’s translation). It is generally agreed that the language here used indicates that Josephus knew himself to be coining a new word.

If, now, we turn from the word to the Old Testament idea to which it gives fitting and apt expression, that idea cannot be better stated than it has been by Kautzsch—namely, "The notion of theocracy is that the constitution (of Israel) was so arranged that all the organs of government were without any independent power, and had simply to announce and execute the will of God as declared by priest and prophets, or reduced to writing as a code of laws" (HDB, extra vol, 630, 1, init.). The same writer is entirely correct when he says that in what is known in certain circles as "the PC"—though he might have said in the Old Testament generally—"everything, even civil and criminal law, is looked at from the religious standpoint" (ibid., ut supra).

If the foregoing be a correct account of the idea expressed by the word "theocracy," and particularly if the foregoing be a correct account of the Old Testament representation of God’s relation to, and rule in and over Israel, it follows as a matter of course that the realization of such an idea was only possible within the sphere of what is known as special revelation. Indeed, special revelation of the divine will, through divinely-chosen organs, to Divinely appointed executive agents, is, itself, the very essence of the idea of a theocracy.

That the foregoing is the Old Testament idea of God’s relation to His people is admitted to be a natural and necessary implication from such passages as Jud 8:23; 1Sa 8; compare 12:12; 2Ch 13:8; 2Sa 7:1-17; Ps 89:27; De 17:14-20.

Upon any other view of the origin of the Old Testament books than that which has heretofore prevailed, it is certainly a remarkable fact that whenever the books of the Old Testament were written, and by whomsoever they may have been written, and whatever the kind or the number of the redactions to which they may have been subjected, the conception—the confessedly unique conception—of a government of God such as that described above by Kautzsch is evidenced by these writings in all their parts. This fact is all the more impressive in view of the further fact that we do not encounter this sharply defined idea of a rule of God among men in any other literature, ancient or modern. For while the term "theocracy" occurs in modern literature, it is evidently used in a much lower sense. It is futher worth remarking that this Old Testament idea of the true nature of God’s rule in Israel has only to be fully apprehended for it to become obvious that many of the alleged analogies between the Old Testament prophet and the modern preacher, reformer and statesman are wholly lacking in any really solid foundation.

W. M. McPheeters





the-od’o-tus (Theodotos):

(1) One of the three ambassadors sent by the Syrian general Nicanor to Judas to make peace (2 Macc 14:19).

(2) One who plotted to assassinate Ptolemy Philopator, but was prevented by a Jew, Dositheos (3 Macc 1:2 f).





the-of’-i-lus (Theophilos, "loved of God"): The one to whom Luke addressed his Gospel and the Ac of the Apostles (compare Lu 1:3; Ac 1:1). It has been suggested that Theophilus is merely a generic term for all Christians, but the epithet "most excellent" implies it was applied by Luke to a definite person, probably a Roman official, whom he held in high respect. Theophilus may have been the presbyter who took part in sending the letter from the Corinthians to Paul, given in the "Acta Pauli" (compare Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 378). There is also a magistrate Theophilus mentioned in the "Ac of James" as being converted by James on his way to India (compare Budge, The Contendings of the Apostles, II, 299), but these and other identifications, together with other attempts to trace out the further history of the original Theophilus, are without sufficient evidence for their establishment (compare also Knowling in The Expositor Greek Testament, II, 49-51).

C. M. Kerr


the’-ras (Thera): The river by which the company assembled in preparation for the march to Jerusalem under Ezra (1 Esdras 8:41,61). In Ezr 8:21,31 the name of the river is Ahava. Possibly the place is represented by the modern Hit on the Euphrates; but no certain identification is possible.


thur’-me-leth (Thermeleth (1 Esdras 5:36)).






1. Luke’s Narrative in Acts

2. Confirmation of Luke’s Narrative in the Epistle



1. Paul’s Past and Present Relations with the Thessalonians and His Love for Them

2. Exhortations against Vice, and Comfort and Warning in View of the Coming of Christ




I. The Importance of the Epistle.

The letter is especially important as a witness to the content of the earliest Gospel, on account of its date and its well-nigh unchallenged authenticity. According to Harnack it was written in the year 48 AD; according to Zahn, in the year 53. It is likely that these two dates represent the extreme limits. We are thus justified in saying with confidence that we have before us a document that could not have been written more than 24 years, and may very easily have been written but 19 years, after the ascension of our Lord. This is a fact of great interest in view of the contention that the Jesus of the four Gospels is a product of the legend-making propensity of devout souls in the latter part of the 1st century. When we remember that Paul was converted more than 14 years before the writing of the Epistles, and that he tells us that his conversion was of such an overwhelming nature as to impel him in a straight course from which he never varied, and when we note that at the end of 14 years Peter and John, having fully heard the gospel which he preached, had no corrections to offer (Ga 1:11-2:10, especially 2:6-10), we see that the view of Christ and His message given in this Epistle traces itself back into the very presence of the most intimate friends of Jesus. It is not meant by this that the words of Paul or the forms of his teaching are reproductions of things Jesus said in the days of His flesh, but rather that the conception which is embodied in the Epistle of the person of Christ and of His relation to the Father, and of His relation also to the church and to human destiny, is rooted in Christ’s own self-revelation.

II. Circumstances of the Founding of the Church.

1. Luke’s Narrative in Acts:

For the founding of the church we have two sources of information, the Book of Ac and the Epistle itself. Luke’s narrative is found in Ac 17. Here we are told that Paul, after leaving Philippi, began his next siege against entrenched paganism in the great market center of Thessalonica. He went first into the synagogues of the Jews, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures. Some of them, Luke tells us, "were persuaded, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few." This very naturally excited the jealousy of the Jews who found themselves losing the social prestige that came from having a large number of Greeks, including some of the nobility, resorting to them for instruction. Accordingly, they raised a mob of the worst men in town and brought the leading members of the church before the magistrate. These brethren, Jason and certain others, who seem to have been men of some property, were compelled to give bond to preserve the peace, and the intense feeling against Paul made it necessary for him, for the sake of these brethren as well as for his personal safety, to flee from the city.

2. Confirmation of Luke’s Narrative in the Epistle:

The historicity of Luke’s story of the founding of the church is strongly supported by the text of the Epistle. Paul, for instance, notes that the work in Thessalonica began after they had been shamefully entreated at Philippi (1Th 2:2). He bears witness also in the same verse to the conflict in the midst of which the Thessalonian church was founded (see also 1Th 2:14). Paul’s exhortation to salute all the brethren with a holy kiss, his solemn adjuration that this letter be read unto all the brethren (1Th 5:26,27), and his exhortation to despise not prophesying (1Th 5:20) are harmonious with Luke’s account of the very diverse social elements out of which the church was formed: diversities that would very easily give rise to a disposition on the part of the more aristocratic to neglect the cordial greetings to the poorer members, and to despise their uncouth testimonies to the grace of God that had come to them (Ac 17:4).

Paul tells us that he was forced to labor for his daily bread at Thessalonica (1Th 2:9). Luke does not make mention of this, but he tells us of his work at tent-making in the next town where he made a considerable stop (Ac 18:1-3), and thus each statement makes the other probable.

Perhaps, however, the most marked corroboration of the Ac which we have in the letter is the general harmony of its revelation of the character of Paul with that of the Acts. The reminiscences of Paul’s work among them (1Th 2:1-12) correspond, for instance, in a marked way, in essence though not in style and vocabulary, with Luke’s report of Paul’s account of the method and spirit of his work at Ephesus (Ac 20:17-35). This, however, is only one of many correspondences which could be pointed out and which will at once be evident to anyone who will read the letter, and then go over Ac 13-28.

It may seem irrelevant thus to emphasize the historicity of Ac in an article on Thessalonians, but the witness of the Epistle to the historicity of the Gospels and of Ac is for the present moment one of its most important functions.

III. Conditions in the Thessalonian Church as Indicated in the Letter.

A New Testament epistle bears a close resemblance to a doctor’s prescription. It relates itself to the immediate situation of the person to whom it is directed. If we study it we can infer with a great deal of accuracy the tendencies, good or bad, in the church. What revelation of the conditions at Thessalonica is made in the First Epistle? Plainly, affairs on the whole are in a very good state, especially when one takes into account the fact that most of the members had been out of heathenism but a few months. They were so notably devoted to God that they were known all over Macedonia as examples to the church (1Th 1:7). In particular the Christian grace of cordial good will toward all believers flourished among them: a grace which they doubtless had good opportunity to exercise in this great market town to which Christians from all parts would resort on business errands and where there would be constant demands on their hospitality (1Th 4:9-10).

There were, however, shadows in the picture. Some persons were whispering dark suspicions against Paul. Perhaps, as Zahn suggests, they were the unbelieving husbands of the rich ladies who had become members of the church. It was in answer to these criticisms that he felt called upon to say that he was not a fanatic nor a moral leper, nor a deceiver (1Th 2:3). When he is so careful to remind them that he was not found at any time wearing a cloak of covetousness, but rather went to the extreme of laboring night and day that he might not be chargeable to any of them (1Th 2:9), we may be sure that the Christians were hearing constant jibes about their money-making teacher who had already worked his scheme with the Philippians so successfully that they had twice sent him a contribution (Php 4:16). Paul’s peculiar sensitiveness on this point at Corinth (1Co 9:14,15) was possibly in part the result of his immediately preceding experiences at Thessalonica.

One wonders whether Greece was not peculiarly infested at this time with wandering philosophers and religious teachers who beat their way as best they could, living on the credulity of the unwary.

Paul’s anxiety to assure them of his intense desire to see them and his telling of his repeated attempts to come to them (1Th 2:17-20) show rather plainly also that his absence had given rise to the suspicion that he was afraid to come back, or indeed quite indifferent about revisiting them. "We would fain have come unto you," he says, "I Paul once and again; and Satan hindered us."

Some also were saying that Paul was a flatterer (1Th 2:5), who was seeking by this means to carry out unworthy ends. This sneer indeed, after the reading of the letter, would come quite naturally to the superficial mind. Paul’s amazing power to idealize his converts and see them in the light of their good intentions and of the general goal and trend of their minds is quite beyond the appreciation of a shallow and sardonic soul.

More than this, we can see plain evidence that the church was in danger of the chronic heathen vice of unchastity (1Th 4:3-8). The humble members also, in particular, were in danger of being intoxicated by the new intellectual and spiritual life into which they had been inducted by the gospel, and were spending their time in religious meetings to the neglect of their daily labor (1Th 4:10-12). Moreover, some who had lost friends since their baptism were mourning lest at the second coming of Christ these who had fallen asleep would not share in the common glory (1Th 4:13-18). This is a quaint proof of the immaturity of their view of Christ, as though a physical accident could separate from His love and care. There was likewise, as suggested above, the ever-present danger of social cliques among the members (1Th 5:13,15,20,26,27). It is to this condition of things that Paul pours forth this amazingly vital and human Epistle.

IV. Analysis of the Epistle.

The letter may be divided in several ways. Perhaps as simple a way as any is that which separates it into two main divisions.

First, Paul’s past and present relations with the Thessalonians, and his love for them (1Th 1:1-3:13):

1. Paul’s Past and Present Relations with the Thessalonians and His Love for Them:

(1) Greeting and Thanksgiving (1Th 1:1-10).

(2) Paul reminds them of the character of his life and ministry among them (1Th 2:1-12).

(3) The sufferings of the Thessalonians the same as those endured by their Jewish brethren (1Th 2:13-16).

(4) Paul’s efforts to see them (1Th 2:17-20).

(5) Paul’s surrender of his beloved helper in order to learn the state of the Thessalonian church, and his joy over the good news which Timothy brought (1Th 3:1-13).

Second, exhortations against vice, and comfort and warning in view of the coming of Christ (1Th 4:1-5,28):

2. Exhortations against Vice, and Comfort and Warning in View of the Coming of Christ:

(1) Against gross vice (1Th 4:1-8).

(2) Against idleness (1Th 4:9-12).

(3) Concerning those who have fallen asleep (1Th 4:13-18).

(4) Concerning the true way to watch for the Coming (1Th 5:1-11).

(5) Sundry exhortations (1Th 5:12-28).

V. Doctrinal Implications of the Epistle.

The Epistle to the Thessalonians is not a doctrinal letter. Paul’s great teaching concerning salvation by faith alone, apart from the works of the Law, is not sharply defined or baldly stated, and the doctrine of the cross of Christ as central in Christianity is here implied rather than enforced. Almost the only doctrinal statement is that which assures them that those of their number who had fallen asleep would not in any wise be shut out from the rewards and glories at Christ’s second coming (1Th 4:13-18). But while the main doctrinal positions of Paul are not elaborated or even stated in the letter, it may safely be said that the Epistle could scarcely have been written by one who denied those teachings. And the fact that we know that shortly before or shortly after Paul wrote the Epistle to the Galatians, and the fact that he so definitely describes his attitude at this very time toward the preaching of the cross of Christ, in his reminiscences in 1 Corinthians (see especially 1Co 2:1-5), show how foolish it is to assume that an author has not yet come to a position because he does not constantly obtrude it in all that he writes.

The Epistle, however, bears abundant evidence to the fact that this contemporary of Jesus had seen in the life and character and resurrection of Jesus that which caused him to exalt Him to divine honors, to mention Him in the same breath with God the Father, and to expect His second coming in glory as the event which would determine the destiny of all men and be the final goal of history. As such the letter, whose authenticity is now practically unquestioned, is a powerful proof that Jesus was a personality as extraordinary as the Jesus of the first three Gospels. And even the Christ of the Fourth Gospel is scarcely more exalted than He who now with God the Father constitutes the spiritual atmosphere in which Christians exist (1Th 1:1), and who at the last day will descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of an archangel and the trump of God, and cause the dead in Christ to rise from their tombs to dwell forever with Himself (1Th 4:16,17).

VI. The Epistle’s Revelations of Paul’s Characteristics.

We notice in the letter the extreme tactfulness of Paul. He has some plain and humiliating warnings to give, but he precedes them in each case with affectionate recognition of the good qualities of the brethren. Before he warns against gross vice he explains that he is simply urging them to continue in the good way they are in. Before he urges them to go to work he cordially recognizes the love that has made them linger so long and so frequently at the common meeting-places. And when in connection with his exhortations about the second coming he alludes to the vice of drunkenness, he first idealizes them as sons of the light and of the day to whom, of course, the drunken orgies of those who are "of the night" would be unthinkable. Thus by a kind of spiritual suggestion he starts them in the right way.


Bishop Alexander, the Speaker’s Commentary (published in America under the title, The Bible Comm., and bound with most excellent commentaries on all of the Pauline Epistles), New York, Scribners; Milligan, The Epistles to the Thessalonians (the Greek text with Introduction and notes), London, Macmillan; Moffatt, The Expositor’s Greek Test. (bound with commentaries by various authors on the Pastoral Epistles, Philemon, Hebrews and James), New York, Dodd, Mead and Co.; Frame, ICC, New York, Scribners; Stevens, An American Commentary on the New Testament, Philadelphia, American Baptist Publication Society; Adeney, The New Century Bible, "1 and 2 Thessalonians" and "Galatians," New York, Henry Frowde; Findlay, "The Epistles to the Thessalonians," Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, New York, Putnams; James Denney, "The Epistles to the Thessalonians," Expositor’s Bible, New York, Doran; the two latter are especially recommended as inexpensive, popular and yet scholarly commentaries. The Cambridge Bible is a verse-by-verse commentary, and Professor Denney on "Thess" in Expositor’s Bible is one of the most vital and vigorous pieces of homiletical exposition known to the present writer.

Rollin Hough Walker




1. Arguments against the Pauline Authorship

2. Arguments for the Pauline Authorship


1. Primary Reference

2. Permanent Value of the Teaching concerning the Man of Sin



I. Importance of Studying 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians Together.

Those who hold to the Pauline authorship of the Epistle unite in ascribing it to a time but little subsequent to the writing of the First Letter. It is simply a second prescription for the same case, made after discovering that some certain stubborn symptoms had not yielded to the first treatment. 2Th should be studied in connection with 1 Thessalonians because it is only from an understanding of the First Epistle and the situation that it revealed that one can fully grasp the significance of the Second. And more than that, the solution of the problem as to whether Paul wrote the Second Letter is likewise largely dependent on our knowledge of the First. It would, for instance, be much harder to believe that Paul had written 2 Thessalonians if we did not know that before writing it he had used the tender and tactful methods of treatment which we find in the First Letter. It is as though one should enter a sick rook where the physician is resorting to some rather strong measures with a patient. One is better prepared to judge the wisdom of the treatment if he knows the history of the case, and discovers that gentler methods have already been tried by the physician without success.

II. Authenticity.

1. Arguments against the Pauline Authorship:

The different treatment of the subject of the second coming of Christ, the different emotional tone, and the different relationships between Paul and the church presupposed in the First and Second Epistles have been among the causes which have led to repeated questionings of the Pauline authorship of 2 Thessalonians. Scholars argue, in the first place, that the doctrine concerning the coming of Christ which we find in the Second Letter is not only differently phrased but is contradictory to that in the First. We get the impression from the First Letter that the Day of the Lord is at hand. It will come as a thief in the night (1Th 5:2), and one of the main parts of Christian duty is to expect (1Th 1:9,10). In the Second Letter, however, he writer urges strongly against any influence that will deceive them into believing that the Day of the Lord is at hand, because it will not be "except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped" (2Th 2:1-4).

Again very plainly also, say the critics, a different relation exists between the writer and the church at Thessalonica. In the First Letter he coaxes; in the Second Letter he commands (1Th 4:1,2,9-12; 5:1-11; 2Th 2:1-4; 3:6,12-14). Moreover, the whole emotional tone of the Second Letter is different from that of the First. The First Epistle is a veritable geyser of joyous, grateful affection and tenderness. The Second Letter, while it also contains expressions of the warmest affection and appreciation, is quite plainly not written under the same pressure of tender emotion. Here, say the critics, is a lower plane of inspiration. Here are Paul’s words and phrases and plain imitations of Paul’s manner, but here most emphatically is not the flood tide of Paul’s inspiration. Moreover, the lurid vision of the battle between the man of sin and the returning Messiah in the Second Letter is different in form and coloring from anything which we find elsewhere in Paul. These, and other considerations have led many to assume that the letter was written by a hand other than that of the Apostle to the Gentiles.

2. Arguments for the Pauline Authorship:

The Hypothesis, however, that Paul was not the author of the Epistle, while it obviates certain difficulties, raises many more. Into a statement of these difficulties we will not go here, but refer the reader to a brief and scholarly putting of them in Peake’s Critical Introduction to the New Testament, 12-16 (New York, Scribners, 1910).

There is accordingly today a manifest tendency among all scholars, including those in the more radical camps, to return to the traditional position concerning the authorship. The following are some of the positive arguments for the authenticity:

As for the opposing views of the coming of Christ in the two Epistles, it is to be noted that precisely the same superficial contradiction occurs in our Lord’s own teaching on this same subject (Mt 24:6,23,24,25,26; Lu 12:35,40). Jesus exhorts His disciples to watch, for in such an hour as they think not the Son of man cometh, and yet at the same time and in the same connection warns them that when they see certain signs they should not be troubled, for the end is not yet. Paul, brooding over the subject after writing the First Letter, might easily have come strongly to see the obverse side of the shield. The apostle built his theology upon the tradition which had come from Jesus as interpreted by its practical effects upon his converts, and his mind was quick to counteract any danger due to overemphasis or wrong inferences. He was not nearly as eager for a consistently stated doctrine as he was for a doctrine that made for spiritual life and efficiency. During the fierce persecutions at the beginning of the movement in Thessalonica, the comfort of the thought of the swift coming of Christ was in need of emphasis but as soon as the doctrine was used as an excuse for unhealthful religious excitement the minds of the disciples must be focused on more prosaic and less exciting aspects of reality.

That Paul assumes a commanding and peremptory attitude in the Second Letter which we do not find so plainly asserted in the First is readily admitted. Why should not the First Letter have had its intended effect upon the Thessalonian church as a whole? And if Paul received word that his gracious and tactful message had carried with it the conviction of the dominant elements of the church, but that certain groups had continued to be fanatical and disorderly, we can easily see how, with the main current of the church behind him, he would have dared to use more drastic methods with the offending members.

It is also readily admitted that the Second Letter is not so delightful and heart-warming as the First. It was plainly not written in a mood of such high emotional elevation. But the question may be raised as to whether the coaxing, caressing tone of the First Epistle would have been appropriate in handling the lazy and fanatical elements of the church after it had persisted in disregarding his tender and kindly admonitions. Jesus’ stern words to the Pharisees in Mt 23 are not so inspiring as Joh 14, but they were the words and the only words that were needed at the time. "Let not your heart be troubled" would not be inspired if delivered to hypocrites. Furthermore, we are not called upon to assume that Paul at all times lived in the same mood of emotional exaltation. Indeed his Epistles abound with assertions that this was not the case (2Co 1:8; 1Th 3:9), and it is unreasonable to expect him always to write in the same key. It must be added, however, that the suggestion that the Second Epistle is stern may easily be overdone. If 1 Thessalonians were not before us, it would be the tenderness of Paul’s treatment of the church which would most impress us.

Harnack has recently added the weight of his authority to the argument for the Pauline authorship of the letter. He thinks that there were two distinct societies in Thessalonica, the one perhaps meeting in the Jewish quarter and composed chiefly of Jewish Christians, and the other composed of Greeks meeting in some other part of the city. In addition to the probability that this would be true, which arises from the very diverse social classes out of which the church was formed (Ac 17:4), and the size of the city, he points to the adjuration in the First Letter (1Th 5:27) that this Epistle be read unto all the brethren, as a proof that there was a coterie in the church that met separately and that might easily have been neglected by the rest, just as the Greeks in Jerusalem were neglected in the daily ministration (Ac 6:1). He thinks that the Second Letter was probably directed to the Jewish element of the Church.

It is to be noted also that Professor Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 76 ff), who calls in question the authenticity of nearly all of the books of the New Testament that any reputable scholars now attack, finds no sufficient reason to question the Pauline authorship of 2 Thessalonians.

III. The Man of Sin.

1. Primary Reference:

The question as to whom or what Paul refers to in 2Th 2:1-12, when he speaks of the man of sin, whose revelation is to precede the final manifestation of Christ, has divided scholars during all the Christian centuries. (For a good discussion of the history of the interpretation of this difficult section, see Findlay, "I and II Thessalonians," Cambridge Bible, 170-80.) The reason why each age has had its fresh interpretation identifying the man of sin with the blasphemous powers of evil then most active is the fact that the prophecy has never yet found its complete accomplishment. The man of sin has never been fully revealed, and Christ has never finally destroyed him.

But Paul says that the mystery of iniquity already works (2Th 2:7), and he tells the church that the restraining influence which for the time being held it in check is something that "ye know" (2Th 2:6). Plainly, then, the evil power and that which held it in check were things quite familiar both to Paul and to his readers. We must therefore give the prophecy a lst-century reference. The alternative probably lies between making the mystery of iniquity the disposition of the Roman emperor to give himself out as an incarnation of deity and force all men to worship him, a tendency which was then being held in check by Claudius, but which soon broke out under Caligula (see Peake’s Introduction above cited); or, on the other hand, making the mystery of iniquity to be some peculiar manifestation of diabolism which was to break out from the persecuting Jewish world, and which was then held in check by the restraining power of the Roman government.

In favor of making a blasphemous Roman emperor the man of sin, may be urged the fact that it was this demand of the emperor for worship which brought matters to a crisis in the Roman world and turned the terrific enginery of the Roman empire against Christianity. And it may be argued that it is hardly likely that the temporary protection which Paul received from the Roman government prevented him from seeing that its spirit was such that it must ultimately be ranged against Christianity. One may note also, in arguing for the Roman reference of the man of sin, the figurative and enigmatic way in which Paul refers to the opposing power, a restraint that would be rendered necessary for reasons of prudence (compare Mr 13:14, and also the cryptograms used by the author of the Book of Revelation in referring to Rome). Paul has none of this reserve in referring to the persecuting Jewish world who "please not God, and are contrary to all men" (1Th 2:15). And in view of the fact that the Jews were in disfavor in the Roman empire, as is proved by then recently issued decree of Claudius commanding all Jews to depart from Rome (Ac 18:2), and by the fact that to proclaim a man a Jew helped at that time to lash a mob into fury against him (Ac 16:20; 19:34), it would seem hardly likely that Paul would expect the subtle and attractive deception that was to delude the World to come from Jerusalem; and particularly would this seem unlikely in view of the fact that Paul seems to be familiar with our Lord’s prophecy of the swift destruction of Jerusalem, as is shown by his assertion in 1Th 2:16, that wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

On the other hand, however, to make the man of sin a person or an influence coming from Judaism is supported by the fact that he is to sit in the temple of God, setting himself forth to be God (1Th 2:4), and by the fact that the natural punishment for the rejection of their Messiah was that the Jews should be led to accept a false Messiah. Having opposed Him who came in the Father’s name, they were doomed to accept one who came in his own name. Again, and far more important than this, is the fact that during nearly the whole of Paul’s life it was the Roman empire that protected him, and the unbelieving Jews that formed the malicious, cunning and powerful opposition to his work and to the well-being and peace of his churches, and he could very well have felt that the final incarnation of evil was to come from the source which had crucified the Christ and which had thus far been chiefly instrumental in opposing the gospel. Moreover, this expectation that a mysterious power of evil should arise out of the Jewish world seems to be in harmony with the rest of the New Testament (Mt 24:5,23,24; Re 11:3,1,8). It is the second alternative, therefore, that is, with misgivings, chosen by the present writer.

It may be objected that this cannot be the true Interpretation, as it was not fulfilled, but, on the contrary, it was Rome that became the gospel’s most formidable foe. But this type of objection, if accepted as valid, practically puts a stop to all attempts at a historical interpretation of prophecy. It would force us to deny that the prophecies of the Old Testament, which are usually taken as referring to Christ, referred to Him at all, because plainly they were not literally fulfilled in the time and manner that the prophets expected them to be fulfilled. It would almost force us to deny that John the Baptist referred to Christ when he heralded the coming of the one who would burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire, because as the Gospels tell us Jesus did not fulfill this prophecy in the way John expected (Lu 7:19).


2. Permanent Value of the Teaching concerning the Man of Sin:

Although Paul’s prediction concerning the man of sin was not literally fulfilled, nevertheless his teaching has a permanent significance. It is always true in every battle for good that the Son of man does not come until the falling away comes and the man of sin is revealed. First, there is the fresh tide of enthusiasm and the promise of swift victory for the kingdom of heaven, but soon there is the reaction and the renascence of opposition in new and overwhelming power. The battle is to the death. And then above the smoke of the battle men see the sign of the coming of the Son of man with power and great glory; the conviction floods them that after all what Christ stands for is at the center of the universe and must prevail, and men begin to recognize Christ’s principles as though they were natural law. This action and reaction followed by final victory takes place in practically all religious and reforming movements which involve the social reconstruction of society according to the principles of the Kingdom. It is exceedingly important that men should be delivered from shallow optimism. And this Epistle makes its contribution to that good end.

IV. Paul’s Exhortation to Quiet Industry.

The exhortation that the brethren should work with quietness and earn their own bread (2Th 3:12) is full of interest to those who are studying the psychological development of the early Christians under the influence of the great mental stimulus that came to them from the gospel. Some were so excited by the new dignity that had come to them as members of the Christian society, and by the new hopes that had been inspired in their minds, that they considered themselves above the base necessity of manual labor. This is not an infrequent phenomenon among new converts to Christianity in heathen lands. Paul would have none of it. Fortunately he could point to his own example. He not only labored among them to earn his own livelihood, but he worked until muscles ached and body rebelled (2 These 3:8).

Paul saw that the gospel was to be propagated chiefly by its splendid effects on the lives of all classes of society, and he realized that almost the first duty of the church was to be respected, and so he not only exhorts the individual members to independence, but he lays down the principle that no economic parasite is to be tolerated in the church. "If any man will not work, neither let him eat" (2Th 3:10). This forms an important complement to the teaching of Jesus (Mt 5:42): "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." LITERATURE.

See under 1 Thessalonians.

Rollin Hough Walker


thes-a-lo-ni’-ka (Thessalonike, ethnic Thessalonikeus):

1. Position and Name:

One of the chief towns of Macedonia from Hellenistic times down to the present day. It lies in 40 degrees 40 minutes North latitude, and 22 degrees 50 minutes East longitude, at the northernmost point of the Thermaic Gulf (Gulf of Salonica), a short distance to the East of the mouth of the Axius (Vardar). It is usually maintained that the earlier name of Thessalonica was Therma or Therme, a town mentioned both by Herodotus (vii.121 ff, 179 ff) and by Thucydides (i.61; ii.29), but that its chief importance dates from about 315 BC, when the Macedonian king Cassander, son of Antipater, enlarged and strengthened it by concentrating there the population of a number of neighboring towns and villages, and renamed it after his wife Thessalonica, daughter of Philip II and step-sister of Alexander the Great. This name, usually shortened since medieval times into Salonica or Saloniki, it has retained down to the present. Pliny, however, speaks of Therma as still existing side by side with Thessalonica (NH, iv.36), and it is possible that the latter was an altogether new foundation, which took from Therma a portion of its inhabitants and replaced it as the most important city on the Gulf.

2. History:

Thessalonica rapidly became populous and wealthy. In the war between Perseus and the Romans it appears as the headquarters of the Macedonian navy (Livy xliv. 10) and when, after the battle of Pydna (168 BC), the Romans divided the conquered territory into four districts, it became the capital of the second of these (Livy xlv.29), while later, after the organization of the single Roman province of Macedonia in 146 BC, it was the seat of the governor and thus practically the capital of the whole province. In 58 BC Cicero spent the greater part of his exile there, at the house of the quaestor Plancius (Pro Plancio 41, 99; Epistle Ad Att, iii.8-21). In the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, Thessalonica took the senatorial side and formed one of Pompey’s chief bases (49-48 BC), but in the final struggle of the republic, six years later, it proved loyal to Antony and Octavian, and was rewarded by receiving the status and privileges of a "free city" (Pliny, NH, iv.36). Strabo, writing in the reign of Augustus, speaks of it as the most populous town in Macedonia and the metropolis of the province (vii.323, 330), and about the same time the poet Antipater, himself a native of Thessalonica, refers to the city as "mother of all Macedon" (Jacobs, Anthol. Graec., II, p. 98, number 14); in the 2nd century of our era Lucian mentions it as the greatest city of Macedonia (Asinus, 46). It was important, not only as a harbor with a large import and export trade, but also as the principal station on the great Via Egnatia, the highway from the Adriatic to the Hellespont.

3. Paul’s Visit:

Paul visited the town, together with Silas and Timothy, on his 2nd missionary journey. He had been at Philippi, and traveled thence by the Egnatian Road, passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia on the way (Ac 17:1). He found at Thessalonica a synagogue of the Jews, in which for three successive Sabbaths he preached the gospel, basing his message upon the types and prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures (Ac 17:2,3). Some of the Jews became converts and a considerable number of proselytes and Greeks, together with many women of high social standing (Ac 17:4). Among these converts were in all probability Aristarchus and Secundus, natives of Thessalonica, whom we afterward find accompanying Paul to Asia at the close of his 3rd missionary journey (Ac 20:4). The former of them was, indeed, one of the apostle’s most constant companions; we find him with Paul at Ephesus (Ac 19:29) and on his journey to Rome (Ac 27:2), while in two of his Epistles, written during his captivity, Paul refers to Aristarchus as still with him, his fellow-prisoner (Col 4:10; Phm 1:24). Gaius, too, who is mentioned in conjunction with Aristarchus, may have been a Thessalonian (Ac 19:29). How long Paul remained at Thessalonica on his 1st visit we cannot precisely determine; certainIy we are not to regard his stay there as confined to three weeks, and Ramsay suggests that it probably extended from December, 50 AD, to May, 51 AD (St. Paul the Traveler, 228). In any case, we learn that the Philippines sent him assistance on two occasions during the time which he spent there (Php 4:16), although he was "working night and day" to maintain himself (1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8). Paul, the great missionary strategist, must have seen that from no other center could Macedonia be permeated with the gospel so effectively as from Thessalonica (1Th 1:8).

But his success roused the jealousy of the Jews, who raised a commotion among the dregs of the city populace (Ac 17:5). An attack was made on the house of Jason, with whom the evangelists were lodging, and when these were not found Jason himself and some of the other converts were dragged before the magistrates and accused of harboring men who had caused tumult throughout the Roman world, who maintained the existence of another king, Jesus, and acted in defiance of the imperial decrees. The magistrates were duly alive to the seriousness of the accusation, but, since no evidence was forthcoming of illegal practices on the part of Jason or the other Christians, they released them on security (Ac 17:5-9). Foreseeing further trouble if Paul should continue his work in the town, the converts sent Paul and Silas (and possibly Timothy also) by night to Berea, which lay off the main road and is referred to by Cicero as an out-of-the-way town (oppidum devium: in Pisonem 36). The Berean Jews showed a greater readiness to examine the new teaching than those of Thessalonica, and the work of the apostle was more fruitful there, both among Jews and among Greeks (Ac 17:10-13). But the news of this success reached the Thessalonian Jews and inflamed their hostility afresh. Going to Berea, they raised a tumult there also, and made it necessary for Paul to leave the town and go to Athens (Ac 17:14,15).

Several points in this account are noteworthy as illustrating the strict accuracy of the narrative of the Acts. Philippi was a Roman town, military rather than commercial; hence, we find but few Jews there and no synagogue; the magistrates bear the title of praetors (Ac 16:20,22,35,36,38 the Revised Version margin) and are attended by lictors (Ac 16:35,38 the Revised Version margin); Paul and Silas are charged with the introduction of customs which Romans may not observe (Ac 16:21); they are beaten with rods (Ac 16:22) and appeal to their privileges as Roman citizens (16:37,38). At Thessalonica all is changed. We are here in a Greek commercial city and a seaport, a "free city," moreover, enjoying a certain amount of autonomy and its own constitution. Here we find a large number of resident Jews and a synagogue. The charge against Paul is that of trying to replace Caesar by another king; the rioters wish to bring him before "the people," i.e. the popular assembly characteristic of Greek states, and the magistrates of the city bear the Greek name of politarchs (Ac 17:5-9). This title occurs nowhere in Greek literature, but its correctness is proved beyond possibility of question by its occurrence in a number of inscriptions of this period, which have come to light in Thessalonica and the neighborhood, and will be found collected in AJT (1898, 598) and in M. G. Dimitsas, (Makedonia), 422 ff. Among them the most famous is the inscription engraved on the arch which stood at the western end of the main street of Salonica and was called the Vardar Gate. The arch itself, which was perhaps erected to commemorate the victory of Philippi, though some authorities assign it to a later date, has been removed, and the inscription is now in the British Museum (CIG, 1967; Leake, Northern Greece, III, 236; Le Bas, Voyage archeologique, number 1357; Vaux, Trans. Royal Sec. Lit., VIII, 528). This proves that the politarchs were six in number, and it is a curious coincidence that in it occur the names Sosipater, Gaius and Secundus, which are berate by three Macedonian converts, of whom the first two were probably Thessalonians, the last certainly.

4. The Thessalonian Church:

The Thessalonian church was a strong and flourishing one, composed of Gentiles rather than of Jews, if we may judge from the tone of the two Epistles addressed to its members, the absence of quotations from and allusions to the Old Testament, and the phrase "Ye turned unto God from idols" (1Th 1:9; compare also 2:14). These, by common consent the earliest of Paul’s Epistles, show us that the apostle was eager to revisit Thessalonica very soon after his enforced departure: "once and again" the desire to return was strong in him, but "Satan hindered" him (1Th 2:18)—a reference probably to the danger and loss in which such a step would involve Jason and the other leading converts. But though himself prevented from continuing his work at Thessalonica, he sent Timothy from Athens to visit the church and confirm the faith of the Christians amid their hardships and persecutions (1Th 3:2-10). The favorable report brought back by Timothy was a great comfort to Paul, and at the same time intensified his longing to see his converts again (1Th 3:10,11). This desire was to be fulfilled more than once. Almost certainly Paul returned there on his 3rd missionary journey, both on his way to Greece (Ac 20:1) and again while he was going thence to Jerusalem (Ac 20:3); it is on this latter occasion that we hear of Aristarchus and Secundus accompanying him (Ac 20:4). Probably Paul was again in Thessalonica after his first imprisonment. From the Epistle to the Philippians (Ac 1:26; 2:24), written during his captivity, we learn that his intention was to revisit Philippi if possible, and 1Ti 1:3 records a subsequent journey to Macedonia, in the course of which the apostle may well have made a longer or shorter stay at Thessalonica. The only other mention of the town in the New Testament occurs in 2Ti 4:10, where Paul writes that Demas has forsaken him and has gone there. Whether Demas was a Thessalonian, as some have supposed, cannot be determined.

5. Later History:

For centuries the city remained one of the chief strongholds of Christianity, and it won for itself the title of "the Orthodox City," not only by the tenacity and vigor of its resistance to the successive attacks of various barbarous races, but also by being largely responsible for their conversion to Christianity.

From the middle of the 3rd century AD it was entitled "metropolis and colony," and when Diocletian (284-305) divided Macedonia into two provinces, Thessalonica was chosen as the capital of the first of these. It was also the scene in 390 AD of the famous massacre ordered by Theodosius the Great, for which Ambrose excluded that emperor for some months from the cathedral at Milan. In 253 the Goths had made a vain attempt to capture the city, and again in 479 Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, found it so strong and well prepared that he did not venture to attack it. From the 6th to the 9th century it was engaged in repeated struggles against Avars, Slavonians and Bulgarians, whose attacks it repelled with the utmost difficulty. Finally, in 904 AD it was captured by the Saracens, who, after slaughtering a great number of the inhabitants and burning a considerable portion of the city, sailed away carrying with them 22,000 captives, young men, women and children. In 1185, when the famous scholar Eustathius was bishop, the Normans under Tancred stormed the city, and once more a general massacre took place. In 1204 Thessalonica became the center of a Latin kingdom under Boniface, marquis of Monferrat, and for over two centuries it passed from hand to hand, now ruled by Latins now by Greeks, until in 1430 it fell before the sultan Amurath II. After that time it remained in the possession of the Turks, and it was, indeed, the chief European city of their dominions, with the exception of Constantinople, until it was recaptured by the Greeks in the Balkan war of 1912. Its population includes some 32,000 Turks, 47,000 Jews (mostly the descendants of refugees from Spain) and 16,000 Greeks and other Europeans. The city is rich in examples of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and art, and possesses, in addition to a large number of mosques, 12 churches and 25 synagogues.


The fullest account of the topography of Thessalonica and its history, especially from the 5th to the 15th century, is that of Tafel, De Thessalonica eiusque agro. Dissertatio geographica, Berlin, 1839; compare also the Histories of Gibbon and Finlay. A description of the town and its ancient remains is given by Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, III, 235 ff; Cousinery, Voyage dans la Macedoine, I, 23 ff; Heuzey, Mission archeol. de Macedoine,’ 272 ff; and other travelers. The inscriptions, mostly in Greek, are collected in Dimitsas, (Makedonia), 421 ff.

M. N. Tod


thu’-das (Theudas, a contraction of Theodorus, "the gift of God"): Theudas is referred to by Gamaliel in his speech before the Sanhedrin, when he advised them as to the position they should adopt in regard to the apostles (Ac 5:36). The failure of the rebellion of Theudas was quoted by Gamaliel on this occasion as typical of the natural end of such movements as were inspired "not of God, but of men." A rising under one Theudas is also described by Josephus (Ant., XX, v, 1), but this occurred at a later date (according to Josephus about 44 or 45 AD) than the speech of Gamaliel (before 37 AD). Of theories put forward in explanation of the apparent anachronism in Gameliels speech, the two most in favor are

(1) that as there were many insurrections during the period in question, the two writers refer to different Theudases;

(2) that the reference to Theudas in the narrative of Ac was inserted by a later reviser, whose historical knowledge was inaccurate (Weiss; compare also Knowling, The Expositor’s Greek Testament, II, 157-59).

C. M. Kerr


(‘ets ‘abhoth (Le 23:40; Ne 8:15)): One of the varieties of trees which the Israelites were directed to use at the Feast of Tabernacles; in the latter passage they are expressly directed to make booths with them. According to the Talmudic writings, the "thick trees" are myrtles (Suk. 12a; Jer Suk. iii, 53d), and further tradition has prescribed certain special features as to the varieties of myrtle employed, without which they cannot be used in the ritual of the feast. In Sirach 14:18 "thick tree" represents dendron dasu, "leafy tree."



thik’-et (cebhakh (Ge 22:13; Isa 9:18; 10:34), or cobhekh (Jer 4:7); in 1Sa 13:6, choach): A thick or dense growth of trees or shrubs (thorns, brambles), in which wild beasts may lurk (Jer 4:7), or animals be caught by their horns (Ge 22:13; Abraham’s ram).



thef: In the Old Testament the uniform translation (17 times) of gannabh, from ganabh, "steal," but gannabh is rather broader than the English "thief," and may even include a kidnapper (De 24:7). In Apocrypha and the New Testament, the King James Version uses "thief" indifferently for kleptes, and lestes, but the Revised Version (British and American) always renders the latter word by "robber" (a great improvement), See CRIMES. The figurative use of thief" as one coming without warning" (Mt 24:43, etc.) needs no explanation.

The penitent thief ("robber," the Revised Version (British and American) Mr 15:27; Mt 27:38,44; "malefactor," Lu 23:32,39) was one of the two criminals crucified with Christ. According to Mark and Matthew, both of these joined in the crowd’s mockery, but Luke tells that one of them reproached his fellow for the insults, acknowledged his own guilt, and begged Christ to remember him at the coming of the Kingdom. And Christ replied by promising more than was asked—immediate admission into Paradise. It should be noted that unusual moral courage was needed for the thief to make his request at such a time and under such circumstances, and that his case has little in common with certain sentimental "death-bed repentances."

To explain the repentance and the acknowledgment of Christ as Messiah, some previous acquaintance of the thief with Christ must be supposed, but all guesses as to time and place are of course useless. Later tradition abundantly filled the blanks and gave the penitent thief the name Titus or Dysmas.


Burton Scott Easton


thi (yarekh; Aramaic yarekhah (Da 2:32); meros (Judith 9:2; Sirach 19:12; Re 19:16); as part of a sacrificial animal (Ex 29:22, etc.) shoq, the King James Version, the Revised Version margin "shoulder"; in addition the King James Version has "thigh" for shoq in Isa 47:2 (the Revised Version (British and American) "leg")): The portion of the leg from the knee to the hip, against which a weapon hangs when suspended from the waist (Ex 32:27; Jud 3:16,21; Ps 45:3, etc.). So the thigh of a rider on horseback would be covered by a loose girdle, on which his name might be embroidered (Re 19:16). The "hollow of the thigh" (Ge 32:25 ) is the hip-socket or the groin.

See also HIP.

The thighs were thought to play a part in procreation (Ge 46:26; Ex 1:5, English Versions of the Bible "loins"; Jud 8:30, English Versions of the Bible "body"; compare Nu 5:21 ff), so that an oath taken with the hand under the thigh (Ge 24:2,9; 47:29) was taken by the life-power (the rabbis interpreted "by the seal of circumcision"). It is perhaps significant that this oath in both Ge 24 and 47 is said to have been exacted by persons in danger of death. Doubtless this association of the thigh with life (aided perhaps by its excellence as food (1Sa 9:24; Eze 24:4)) determined its choice as a sacrificial potion (Ex 29:22, etc.; on the "heave thigh" see SACRIFICE). Consequently, it is natural to find the thigh classed as forbidden ("sacred") food among certain peoples, and, probably, this sacred character of the part is the real basis of Ge 32:32: "The children of Israel eat not the sinew of the hip which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day." The origin of the prohibition, however, was unknown to the writer of the verse, and he sought an explanation from a story in which special attention was called to the thigh. Nothing else is heard about this precept in the Old Testament, but it receives elaborate attention in the Mishna (Chullin vii), where, for instance, all food cooked with meat containing the sinew (nervus ischiadicus) is rendered unclean if the sinew imparts a flavor to it, but not otherwise. (For further details see the comms., especially Skinner. (ICC) and RS2, 380.) One of the proofs of guilt in the jealousy trial (Nu 5:27) was the falling-away of the "thigh" (a euphemism; see JEALOUSY). To smite upon the thigh was a token of contrition (Jer 31:19) or of terror (Ezr 21:12).

Burton Scott Easton


thim’-na-tha, thim-na’-tha (timnathah): the King James Version in Jos 19:43. It is correctly "Timnah" with Heb locale meaning "towed Timnah."



think: The Old Testament often translates ‘amar, "to say," meaning what one says to himself, and hence, a definite and clearly formulated decision or purpose (Ge 20:11; Nu 24:4; Ru 4:4, etc.), illustrated by the, change made by the Revised Version (British and American) in the King James Version of Es 6:6, where "thought in his heart" becomes "said in his heart." In other passages, for chashabh, damah, or zamam, indicating the result of mental activity, as in an intention or estimate formed after careful deliberation (compare Ecclesiasticus 18:25); In the New Testament, most, frequently for dokeo, "to be of the opinion, "suppose," literally, "seem" (Mt 3:9; 6:7; Lu 10:36, etc.). Sometimes, for logizomai, "to compute," "reckon" (Ro 2:3, etc.); sometimes, for nomizo, literally referring to what attains the force of law (nomos), and then, "to be of the opinion"; or, for phroneo, implying a thought that is cherished—a mental habit, rather than an act (Ro 12:3; 1Co 13:11). The Greek hegeomai, "to consider," implies logical deduction from premises (Ac 26:2; Php 2:6), while in Mt 1:20; 9:4, and Ac 10:19, enthumoumai, refers to the mental process itself, the thinking-out of a project, the concentration of the faculties upon the formation of a plan.

H. E. Jacobs


thurd (shelishi; tritos): Isa 19:24, "In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria," etc., brings out very distinctly the universal and missionary character of Isaiah’s prophecies and of Israel’s destiny (compare Eze 16:63; and see G. A. Smith, Isaiah, II, 275, 278; Watkinson, Th. Blind Spot 21 ff).

For "third hour," "third month," "third year," see CALENDAR; DAY; TIME.




thurst (tsama’, verb tsame’; dipsao, dipsos, dipsa): One of the most powerful natural appetities, the craving for water or other drink. Besides its natural significance, thirst is figuratively used of strong spiritual desire. The soul thirsts for God (Ps 42:2; 63:1). Jesus meets the soul’s thirst with water of life (Joh 4:13 ff; 6:35; 7:37). It is said of the heavenly bliss, "They shall hunger no more; neither thirst any more" (Re 7:16,17; compare Isa 49:10).


thur’-ten, thur-ten’, thur’-ti.



thiz’-be (Codex Vaticanus Thisbe, Codex Alexandrinus Thibe): The home of Tobit whence he was carried into captivity to Babylon. It is said te be "on the right hand (i.e. South) of Kedesh-naphtali in Galilee" (Tobit 1:2). Some have thought that this was the native place of Elijah the Tishbite, but this is mere conjecture. The site has not been recovered. We need not expect strict geographical accuracy in the romance of Tobit, any more than in that of Judith.




THOCANUS tho-ka’-nus (Thokanos, Thokanos; the King James Version Theocanus): The father of Ezekias, who with Jonathan "took the matter upon them" in the proceedings under Ezra against foreign wives (1 Esdras 9:14) =" Tikvah" in Ezr 10:15.


tom’-as (Thomas; ta’om, "a twin" (in plural only):

1. In the New Testament:

One of the Twelve Apostles. Thomas, who was also called "Didymus" or "the Twin" (compare Joh 11:16; 20:24; 21:2), is referred to in detail by the Gospel of John alone. His election to the Twelve is recorded in Mt 10:3; Mr 3:18; Lu 6:15; Ac 1:13. In Joh 11:1-54, when Jesus, despite imminent danger at the hands of hostile Jews, declared His intention of going to Bethany to heal Lazarus, Thomas alone opposed the other disciples who sought to dissuade Him, and protested, "Let us also go; that we may died with him" (Joh 11:16). On the eve of the Passion, Thomas put the question, "Lord, we know now whither thou goest; how know we the way?" (Joh 14:5). After the crucifixion, Thomas apparently severed his connection with the rest of the apostiles for a time, as he was not present when the risen Christ first appeared to them (compare Joh 20:24). But his subsequent conversation with them, while not convincing him of the truth of the resurrection—"except I shall see .... I will not believe" (Joh 20:25)—at least induced him to be among their number eight days afterward (Joh 20:26) in the upper room. There, having received the proofs for which he sought, he made the confession, "My Lord and my God" (Joh 20:28), and was reproved by Jesus for his previous unbelief: "Because thou hast seen me thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (Joh 20:29). He was one of the disciples to whom Jesus manifested Himself during the fishing expedition at the Sea of Tiberias (Joh 21:1-11).

2. In Apocryphal Literature:

According to the "Genealogies of the Twelve Apostles" (compare Budge, The Contendings of the Apostles, II, 50), Thomas was of the house of Asher. The oldest accounts are to the effect that he died a natural death of (compare Clement of Alexandria iv.9, 71). Two fields are mentioned by apocryphal literature as the scene of Thomas’ missionary labors.

(1) According to origen, he preached in Parthia, the according to a Syrian legend he died at Edessa. The Agbar legend also indicates the connection of Thomas with Edessa. But Eusebius indicates it was Thaddaeus and not Thomas who preached there (see THADDAEUS).

(2) Along with these are other sources identifying Thomas with India. Thus, "The Ac of Thomas" (see APOCRYPHAL ACTS, sec. B, V), a Gnostic work dating from the 2nd century, tells how when the world was partitioned out as a mission field among the disciples, India fell to "Judas Thomas, also called Didymus," and narrates his adventures on the way, his trials, missionary success, and death at the hands of Misdai, king of India (compare Budge, II, 404 ff; Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 473-544; Pick, The Apocryphal Acts, 224 ff). The "Preaching of Thomas" (compare Budge, II, 319) relates still more fantastic adventures of Thomas in India, and the "Martyrdom of Thomas in India" states that on his departure toward Macedonia he was put to death as a sorcerer.

Of the two, the former is the more probable. An attempt at reconciliation has been made by supposing that the relics of Thomas were transported from India to Edessa, but this is based on inaccurate historical information (compare Hennecke, op. cit., 474). The additional names "Judas" and "Didymus" have causd further confusion in apocryphal literature in regard to Thomas, and have led to his identification with Judas of James, and hence, with Thaddaeus (see THADDAEUS), and also with Judas the brother of Jesus (compare Mt 13:55). Thus in the "Ac of Thomas" he is twice called the "twin brother of the Messiah." Another legend makes Lysia the twin sister of Thomas. A Gnostic "Gospel of Thomas" (see APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS, III, 2, (a)) was known to Irenaeus (compare Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., 1,20).

3. Character:

Although little is recorded of Thomas in the Gospels, he is yet one of the most fascinating of the apostles. He is typical of that nature—a nature by no means rare—which contains within it certain conflicting elements exceedingly difficult of reconciliation. Possessed of little natural buoyancy of spirit, and inclined to look upon life with the eyes of gloom or despondency, Thomas was yet a man of indomitable courage and entire unselfishness. Thus with a perplexed faith in the teaching of Jesus was mingled a sincere love for Jesus the teacher. In the incident of Christ’s departure for Bethany, his devotion to his Master proved stronger than his fear of death. Thus far, in a situation demanding immediate action, the faith of Thomas triumphed; but when it came into conflict with his standards of belief it was put to a harder test. For Thomas desired to test all truth by the evidence of his senses, and in this, coupled with a mind tenacious both of its beliefs and disbeliefs, lay the real source of his religious difficulties. It was his sincerity which made him to stand aloof from the rest of the disciples till he had attained to personal conviction regarding the resurrection; but his sincerity also drew from him the testimony to that conviction, "My Lord and my God," the greatest and fullest in all Christianity.

C. M. Kerr



THOMEI thom’-e-i (Codex Alexandrinus Thomei; Fritzsche Thomoi; Codex Vaticanus and Swete Thomthei; the King James Version, Thomoi): A family name of temple-servants who returned with Zerubbabel (1 Esdras 5:32) =" Temah" in Ezr 2:53; Ne 7:55.


thorn (skolops te sarki): Paul thus characterizes some bodily ailment which afflicted him and impaired his usefulness (2Co 12:7). The data are insufficient to enable us to ascertain its real nature, and all the speculations on the point are therefore inconclusive. All that we are told is that it was a messenger of Satan; that thereby he was beaten as with a fist, which might be figurative or actual; that it rendered his bodily presence unattractive. It appears that the infirmity recurred, for thrice he sought deliverance; but, by the help of God, he was able to glory in it. Sir W. Ramsay sees in it some form of recurring malarial fever. It was something that disabled him (Ga 4:12-15); hence, Farrar supposes that it was ophthalmia, from the reference to his eyes, from his inability to recognize the high priest (Ac 23:5), from his employing amanuenses to write his epistles, and his writing the Galatian letter in large characters with his own hand (Ga 6:11). Krenkel has at great length argued that it was epilepsy, and thereby endeavors to account for his trances and his falling to the earth on his way to Damascus, but his work is essentially a special pleading for a foregone conclusion, and Paul would not have called his visions "a messenger of Satan." It is also beside the question to heap up instances of other distinguished epileptics. On the whole Farrar’s theory is the most probable.

It is probably only a coincidence that "pricks in your eyes" Septuagint skolopes) are mentioned in Nu 33:55. Any pedestrian in Palestine must be familiar with the ubiquitous and troublesome thorny shrubs and thistles which abound there.

Alexander Macalister


thornz: There are very many references to various thorny plants in the Bible, and of the Hebrew words employed great uncertainty exists regarding their exact meaning. The alternative translations given in the text of English Versions of the Bible and in the margin show how divided are the views of the translators. In the following list the suggestions given of possinle species indicated, usually by comparison with the Arabic, are those of the late Professor Post, who spent the best years of his life in study of the botany of Palestine. In the great majority of instances, however, it is quite impossible to make any reasonable suggestion as to any particular species being indicated.

(1) ‘aTadh (Jud 9:14, English Versions of the Bible "bramble," the King James Version margin "thistle," the Revised Version margin "thorn"; Ps 58:9, English Versions of the Bible "thorns"): Probably the buckthorn (Rhamnus Palestina Post). Atad occurs as a proper name in Ge 50:10,11.

(2) barqanim (Jud 8:7,16, English Versions of the Bible "briers"): Some thorny plant. The Egyptian-Arabic bargan is, according to Moore (Commentary on Judges), the same as Centaurea scoparius (Natural Order, Compositae), a common Palestinian thistle.

(3) dardar (Ge 3:18; Ho 10:8, English Versions of the Bible "thistle"; Septuagint tribolos): In Arabic, shauket ed-dardar is a general name for the thistles known as Centaureae or star-thistles (Natural Order, Compositae), of which Palestine produces nearly 50 species. The purple-flowered C. calcitrapa and the yellow C. verutum are among the commonest and most striking.

(4) chedheq (Pr 15:19, English Versions of the Bible "thorns"; Septuagint akantha; Mic 7:4, English Versions of the Bible "brier"): From former passages this should be some thorny plant suitable for making a hedge (compare Arabic chadaq, "to enclose," "wall in"). Lane states that Arabic chadaq is Solanum sanctum. Post suggests the oleaster, Eleagnus hortensis.

(5) choach; Septuagint knide, and akantha (2Ki 14:9; Job 31:40, English Versions of the Bible, "thistle," margin "thorn"; 2Ch 25:18, English Versions of the Bible "thistle," the King James Version margin "furze bush," the Revised Version margin "thorn"; Ho 9:6; So 2:2, English Versions of the Bible "thorns"; Isa 34:13 the King James Version "brambles" the Revised Version (British and American) "thistles"; Pr 26:9, English Versions of the Bible "a thorn"; 1Sa 13:6, "thickets"; chawachim, is, however, according to Driver and others a corruption for horim, "holes"; Job 41:2, the King James Version "thorn" the Revised Version (British and American) "hook"; 2Ch 33:11, the King James Version "thorns," the Revised Version (British and American) "in chains," margin "with hooks"): Clearly choach stands for some plant with very strong thorns, but it is quite impossible to say what species is intended; indeed, probably the word was used in a general way.


(6) mecukhah, occurs only in Mic 7:4, where it means a "thorn hedge."

(7) na‘atsuts (Isa 7:19, the King James Version "thorns," the Revised Version (British and American) "thorn hedges"; Isa 55:13, English Versions of the Bible "thorn"): The word is derived from the root na‘ats, "to prick," or "pierce," and probably applies to any prickly plant. The Septuagint translation has stoibe (Isa 55:13), suggesting the thorny burnet, Poterium spinosum, so common in Palestine (see BOTANY). Post says, "It may be one of the thorny acacias" (HDB, IV, 752).

(8) cirim (Ec 7:6, "the crackling of thorns (cirim) under a pot" (cir); Isa 34:13, "Thorns shall come up in its palaces"; Ho 2:6, "I will hedge up thy way with thorns"; Na 1:10, "Entangled like thorns (King James Version "folden together as thorns") .... they are consumed utterly as dry stubble"): The thorny burner, Poterium spinosum, is today so extensively used for burning in ovens and lime-kilns in Palestine that it is tempting to suppose this is the plant especially indicated here. In Am 4:2 ciroth, is translated "fish-hooks."


(9) cillon (Eze 28:24, English Versions of the Bible, "brier"); callonim (Eze 2:6, English Versions of the Bible, "thorns"): Arabic, sallu =" thorn."

(10) carabhim (Eze 2:6, English Versions of the Bible, "briers;" the King James Version margin "rebels"): The translation as a plant name is very doubtful.

(11) cirpadh (Isa 55:13, "Instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree"): The Septuagint has konuza, which is (Post) the elecampane, Inula viscosa (Natural Order Compositae), a plant 2 or 3 ft. high, growing on the bare hillsides of Palestine, not infrequently in close association with the myrtle.

(12) tsinnim (Job 5:5; Pr 22:5, English Versions of the Bible, "thorns"); tseninim (Nu 33:55; Jos 23:13, English Versions of the Bible, "thorns"): The words apparently have a very general meaning.

(13) qots; the Septuagint akantha: A general name for thorny and prickly plants, the commonest in the Old Testament (Ge 3:18; Ex 22:6; Jud 8:7,16; 2Sa 23:6; Ps 118:12; Isa 32:13; 33:12; Jer 4:3; 12:13; Eze 28:24; Ho 10:8).

(14) qimmosh (Pr 24:31, "thorns"; Isa 34:13; Ho 9:6, "nettles").


(15) sikkim, plural of sekh, same as Arabic shauk, "a thorn" (Nu 33:55, "pricks").

(16) shayith: A word peculiar to Isa (5:6; 7:23 ff; 9:18; 10:17; 27:4) and always associated with shamir (See (17)), always translated "thorns."

(17) shamir: References as above (16), and in Isa 32:13, where it is with qots (see (13)) always translated briers." The Arabic samur is the thorny acacia A. seyyal and A. tortilis (Post).

(18) akanthos: The equivalent of qots (see (13)) (Mt 7:16; 13:7,22; 27:29, etc.). Always translated "thorns."

(19) rhamnos (Baruch 6:71, "white thorn"): The Rhamnus Palaestina.

(20) skolops (2Co 12:7, English Versions of the Bible "thorn," margin "stake").


(21) tribolos (Mt 7:16, "thistle"; Heb 6:8, the King James Version "briers" the Revised Version (British and American) "thistles").

The extraordinary plentifulness of various prickly plants in Palestine—in its present condition—is evident to any traveler during the summer months. Many of the trees and shrubs are thorny and the ground is everywhere covered thick with thistles, many of which are very handsome and some of which attain a height of 6 or 8 ft. Before the peasant can plow, he must dear these away by burning (compare Isa 10:17). The early autumn winds often drive before them in revolving mass some of the star-thistles—a sight so characteristic that it may be the "thistle down" (the King James Version margin, the Revised Version (British and American) "whirling dust") of Isa 17:13. Thorns and thistles are described (Ge 3:18) as God’s curse on the ground for sin. The Talmud suggests that these must be edible and are therefore artichokes. The removal of them and the replacement by more useful plants is a sign of God’s blessing (Isa 55:13; Eze 28:24).

Ge 3:18 uses the words qots and dardar for "thorns" and "thistles." Midrash Rabba’ to Genesis (Midr. Gen. Rabba’ 20 10) says that qots ("thorn") is the same as (‘akkabhith), which means an edible thistle (compare Levy, Dictionary, 645), and that (dardar, "thistle") is the same as (qinrac; Greek kunara, "artichoke") (compare Levy, Dictionary, 298). "But," adds the Midrash, "some reverse it, and say that (dardar) is (’akkabhith) and that (qots) is (qinrats)."

The neglected vineyard of the sluggard "was all grown over with thorns the face thereof was covered with nettles" (Pr 24:31), and in God’s symbolic vineyard "there shall come up briers and thorns" (Isa 5:6); "They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns; they have put themselves to pain, and profit nothing" (Jer 12:13).

Jotham compares the usurper Abimelech to a bramble (Rhamnus Palaestina) (Jud 9:14 f), and Jehoash king of Israel, taunted Amaziah, king of Judah, by comparing him slightingly to a thistle (margin "thorn"), readily trodden down by a wild beast (2Ki 14:9).

Nevertheless, thorns and thistles have their uses. On them the goats and camels browse; scarcely any thorns seem to be too sharp for their hardened palates. The thorny burner (Poterium spinosum), Arabic ballan, which covers countless acres of bare hillside, is used all over Palestine for ovens (Ec 7:6) and lime-kilns. Before kindling one of these latter the fellahin gather enormous piles of this plant—carried on their heads in masses much larger than the bearers—around the kiln mouth.

Thorny hedges around dwellings and fields are very common. The most characteristic plant for the purpose today is the "prickly pear" (Opunctia ficus Indica), but this is a comparatively late introduction. Hedges of brambles oleasters, etc., are common, especially where there is some water In the Jordan valley masses of broken branches of the Zizyphus and other thorny trees are piled in a circle round tents or cultivated fields or flocks as a protection against man and beast (Pr 15:19; Mic 7:4, etc.).

The Saviour’s "crown of thorns" (Mt 27:29) was according to Palestinian tradition constructed from the twisted branches of a species of Rhamnaceae either the Zizyphus lotus or the Z. spina.

E. W. G. Masterman


thot: The most frequent word in the Old Testament (machashebheth, from the verb chashabh, "to think") refers to a "device," or a purpose firmly fixed, as in the passage in Isa (55:7-9) where the "thought" of God and of man are contrasted (compare Ps 40:5; 92:5; Jer 29:11). In the New Testament dialogismos (Mt 15:19; 1Co 3:20), refers to the inner reasoning or deliberation of one with himself.



thou’-zand (’eleph; chilioi).



thra’-shi-a, thra’-shan (Thrakia): The name given to the country lying between the rivers Strymon and Danube. Mention is made of a Thracian horseman in 2 Macc 12:35. The cavalry of this fierce people were in demand as mercenaries in all countries. In 46 AD Thrace became the name of a Roman province. Some have sought a connection between Thracia and the TIRAS (which see) of Ge 10:2, but the identification is conjectural.


thra-se’-us (Codex Alexandrinus Swete and Fritzsche Thrasaios; Codex Venetus Tharsiou; Codex Venetus(a) Tharseou; Conjecture of Dr. Hort Tharsea; the King James Version, Thraseas): The father of APOLLONIUS (which see) (2 Macc 3:5). the Revised Version margin gives "Or ‘Thrasca.’" The Greek text is probably corrupt. Perhaps the true reading is "Apollonius of Tarsus".


(shalosh; treis).








thresh’-ing (dush; aloao): Dush means literally, "to trample out." In Jer 51:33, darakh, is used of threshing. Fitches and cummin were beaten off with a rod. The distinction between beating and threshing is made in Isa 28:27. Gideon, in order to avoid being seen by the Midianites, beat out his wheat in a wine press instead of threshing it on the threshing-floor (Jud 6:11). For a general description of the threshing operations see AGRICULTURE.

Figurative: "Thou shalt thresh the mountains," i.e. thou wilt overcome great difficulties (Isa 41:15). Babylon’s destruction was foretold poetically in the language of the threshing-floor (Isa 21:10; Jer 51:33; Da 2:35); Zion’s foes would be gathered as sheaves on the threshing-floor (Mic 4:12,13; compare 2Ki 13:7; Am 1:3; Hab 3:12); threshing unto the vintage, i.e. throughout the summer, indicated an extra abundant yield (Le 26:5).

James A. Patch


thresh’-ing-flor (goren; halon; ‘iddar, occurs in Da 2:35): The location and method of making threshing-floors have already been described under AGRICULTURE. These floors have come into prominence because of the Biblical events which occurred on or near them. Joseph with his kinsmen and Egyptian followers halted for seven days at the threshing-floor of Atad to lament the death of Jacob (Ge 50:10). Probably there was a group of floors furnishing a convenient spot for a caravan to stop. Travelers today welcome the sight of a threshing-floor at their halting-place. The hard, level spot is a much preferable to the surrounding stony fields for their tents.

David built an altar on Ornan’s (Araunah’s) threshing-floor (2Sa 24:18-24; 1Ch 21:18-27), which later became the site of the Temple (2Ch 3:1). David probably chose this place for his altar because it was on an elevation, and the ground was already level and prepared by rolling. Uzzah died near the threshing-floor of Nacon for touching the ark (2Sa 6:6). Ru reveals herself to Boaz on his threshing-floor (Ru 3:6-9).

Threshing-floors are in danger of being robbed (1Sa 23:1). For this reason, someone always sleeps on the floor until the grain is removed (Ru 3:7). In Syria, at the threshing season, it is customary for the family to move out to the vicinity of the threshing-floor. A booth is constructed for shade; the mother prepares the meals and takes her turn with the father and children at riding on the sledge.

The instruments of the threshing-floor referred to in 2Sa 24:22 were probably:

(1) the wooden drag or sledge, charuts or moragh, Arabic lauch eddiras;

(2) the fan (fork), mizreh, Arabic midra, for separating straw from wheat;

(3) shovel, meghraphah, Arabic mirfashat, for tossing the wheat into the air in winnowing;

(4) broom, maT’aTe’, for sweeping the floor between threshing and for collecting the wheat after winnowing;

(5) goad, malmedh, Arabic messas;

(6) the yoke, ‘ol, Arabic tauk;

(7) sieve, kebharah, Arabic gharbal;

(8) dung catcher, Arabic milkat.



See HOUSE, II, 1, (7).


thron. (kicce’, a "seat" in 2Ki 4:10; a "royal seat" in Jon 3:6; thronos): Usually the symbol of kingly power and dignity. Solomon’s throne was noted for its splendor and magnificence (1Ki 10:18-20; compare 2Ch 9:17-19). It symbolizes:

(1) The exalted position of earthly kings, rulers, judges, etc., their majesty and power (of kings: Ge 41:40; 1Ki 2:19; Job 36:7, etc.; denoting governing or judicial power: 2Sa 14:9; Ne 3:7; Ps 122:5, etc.; often equivalent to kingdom or reign: 1Sa 2:8; 1Ki 1:37,47, etc.; in this connection we note the expressions: "a man on the throne of Israel," 1Ki 2:4, etc.; "to sit upon a throne" 1Ki 1:13,17, etc.; Jer 13:13, etc.; "to set a person on a throne," 2Ki 10:3; "the throne of Israel," 1Ki 8:20, etc.; "the throne of David" 2Sa 3:10, etc.; of Solomon, 2Sa 7:13, etc.; of Joash, 2Ch 23:20, etc.). In Jer 17:12 it is equivalent to "temple" ("A glorious throne .... is the place of our sanctuary"); it symbolizes the power of the Gentiles being hostile to the people of Yahweh (Ps 94:20), and is used metaphorically in Isa 22:23 ("He (i.e. Eliakim) shall be for a throne of glory to his father’s house").

(2) The majesty and power of Yahweh as the true king of Israel; He "is enthroned above the cherubim" (1Sa 4:4 the Revised Version margin; compare 2Sa 6:2; 2Ki 19:15; Solomon’s throne is really Yahweh’s throne (1Ch 29:23), and there shall come a time when Jerusalem shall be called "the throne of Yahweh" (Jer 3:17) and the enemies of Yahweh shall be judged by him ("I will set my throne in Elam," Jer 49:38). According to Eze 43:7, the Lord said of the future temple: "This is the place of my throne."

(3) The rule of the promised theocratic king (the Messiah), its everlasting glory and righteousness. He, too, is Yahweh’s representative, inasmuch as He "shall rule upon his throne" (Zec 6:13). Thus, the permanence of the throne of David is warranted (Isa 9:7); eternal peace (1Ki 2:33), loving-kindness and justice (Isa 16:5) characterize his reign. The New Testament points to Jesus as this promised king (Lu 1:32; compare Ac 2:30; Heb 12:2); Christ Himself refers to His future state of glory (Mt 25:31) and guarantees His faithful disciples a similar distinction (Mt 19:28; compare Lu 22:30; Re 20:4).

(4) The matchless glory, the transcendent power and absolute sovereignty of God (and Christ); Micaiah "saw Yahweh sitting on his throne," etc. (1Ki 22:19; compare 2Ch 18:18); Isaiah and Ezekiel had similar visions (Isa 6:1; Eze 1:26); compare also Da 7:9 and Re 4:2 (and often); in trying to depict the incomparable greatness of the King of kings, the Bible tells us that His throne is in heaven (Ps 11:4, etc.) and, moreover, that heaven itself is His throne (Isa 66:1; Mt 5:34, etc.); His reign is founded on righteousness and justice (Ps 89:14; compare 97:2) and of eternal duration (Ps 45:6; compare Heb 1:8; La 5:19); He acts justly and kindly (Ps 9:4 and Ps 89:14); He defends His glory (Jer 14:21); He manifests His holiness (Ps 47:8) and His grace (Heb 4:16), and yet His dealings with us are not always fully understood by us (Job 26:9).

(5) Heavenly kingdoms or rulers (angels: Col 1:16).


William Baur


thrum: In Isa 38:12 the Revised Version (British and American) reads "He will cut me off from the loom," margin "thrum." "Thrum" is a technical term of weavers, denoting the threads of the warp hanging down in a loom, suiting dallah, "that which hangs down" (So 7:5, "hair"). A misinterpretation of "hanging down" is responsible for the King James’ "pining sickness."


thum’-im. See URIM AND THUMMIM.


thun’-der (ra‘am (1Sa 2:10; Job 26:14; 39:19; 40:9; Ps 77:18; 81:7; 104:7; Isa 29:6), qol, "a voice" (Ex 9:23; 1Sa 7:10; 12:17; Job 28:26; 38:25)): Thunder is the noise resulting from the lightning discharge. It is very common in the winter storms of Syria and Palestine and occurs in the extra-season storms. Thunder accompanied the storm of hail in Egypt at the time of the plagues: "The Lord sent thunder and hail" (Ex 9:23).

Lightning and thunder are indications of the power of Yahweh and His might. "The thunder of his power who can understand?" (Job 26:14); "The God of glory thundereth" (Ps 29:3). Yahweh also confused the Philistines with thunder (1Sa 7:10), and His foes were "visited of Yahweh of hosts with thunder" (Isa 29:6). Thunder was regarded as the voice of Yahweh: "God thundereth with the voice of his excellency" (Job 37:4), and God spoke to Jesus in the thunder (bronte, Joh 12:29).


Alfred H. Joy


thi-a-ti’-ra (Thuateira): Thyatira was a wealthy town in the northern part of Lydia of the Roman province of Asia, on the river Lycus. It stood so near to the borders of Mysia, that some of the early writers have regarded it as belonging to that country. Its early history is not well known, for until it was refounded by Seleucus Nicator (301-281 BC) it was a small, insignificant town. It stood on none of the Greek trade routes, but upon the lesser road between Pergamos and Sardis, and derived its wealth from the Lycus valley in which it rapidly became a commercial center, but never a metropolis. The name "Thyatira" means "the castle of Thya." Other names which it has borne are Pelopia and Semiramis. Before the time of Nicator the place was regarded as a holy city, for there stood the temple of the ancient Lydian sun-god, Tyrimnos; about it games were held in his honor. Upon the early coins of Thyatira this Asiatic god is represented as a horseman, bearing a double-headed battle-ax, similar to those represented on the sculptures of the Hittites. A goddess associated with him was Boreatene, a deity of less importance. Another temple at Thyatira was dedicated to Sambethe, and at this shrine was a prophetess, by some supposed to represent the Jezebel of Re 2:20, who uttered the sayings which this deity would impart to the worshippers.

Thyatira was specially noted for the trade guilds which were probably more completely organized there than in any other ancient city. Every artisan belonged to a guild, and every guild, which was an incorporated organization, possessed property in its own name, made contracts for great constructions, and wielded a wide influence. Powerful among them was the guild of coppersmiths; another was the guild of the dyers, who, it is believed, made use of the madder-root instead of shell-fish for making the purple dyestuffs. A member of this guild seems to have been Lydia of Thyatira, who, according to Ac 16:14, sold her dyes in Philippi. The color obtained by the use of this dye is now called Turkish red. The guilds were closely connected with the Asiatic religion of the place. Pagan feasts, with which immoral practices were associated, were held, and therefore the nature of the guilds was such that they were opposed to Christianity. According to Ac 19:10, Paul may have preached there while he was living at Ephesus, but this is uncertain; yet Christianity reached there at an early time. It was taught by many of the early church that no Christian might belong to one of the guilds, and thus the greatest opposition to Christianity was presented.

Thyatira is now represented by the modern town of Ak-Hissar on a branch line of the Manisa-Soma Railroad, and on the old Ro road 9 hours from Sardis. Ak-Hissar is Turkish for "white castle," and near the modern town may be seen the ruins of the castle from which the name was derived. The village is of considerable size; most of the houses are of mud, but several of the buildings erected by Caracalla are still standing, yet none of them are perfect. In the higher part of the town are the ruins of one of the pagan temples, and in the walls of the houses are broken columns and sarcophagi and inscribed stones. The population of 20,000 is largely Greek and Armenian, yet a few Jews live among them. Before the town is a large marsh, fever-laden, and especially unhealthful in the summer time, formed by the Lycus, which the Turks now call Geurdeuk Chai. The chief modern industry is rug-making.

E. J. Banks


thi’-in (xulon thuinon): An aromatic wood described as sold in "Babylon" (Re 18:12, the King James Version margin "sweet wood"). It is the wood of the thya (thuia) tree, probably identical with Thuia articulata an evergreen tree growing in North Africa, resembling the cypress, which in Roman times was employed for making valuable furniture.


ti-be’-ri-as ([Tiberias], Joh 6:23): About the middle of the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, the mountains fall back from the coast, and leave a roughly crescent-shaped plain, about 2 miles in length. The modern city of Tiberias (Tabariyeh) stands at the northern extremity, where the ground begins to rise; and the Hot Baths (Hammath) at the south end. On the southern part of this plain Herod Antipas built a city (circa 26 AD), calling it "Tiberias" in honor of the emperor who had befriended him. In clearing the ground and digging foundations certain tombs were disturbed (Ant., XVIII ii, 3). It may have been the graveyard of old Hammath. The palace, the famous "Golden House," was built on the top of a rocky hill which rises on the West to a height of some 500 ft. The ruin is known today as Qasr bint el-Melek, "Palace of the King’s Daughter" The strong walls of the city can be traced in almost their entire length on the landward side. Parts are also to be seen along the shore, with towers at intervals which guarded against attack by sea. The ruins cover a considerable area. There is nothing above ground older than Herod’s city. Only excavation can show whether or not the Talmud is fight in saying that Tiberias was built on the site of Rakkath and Chinnereth (Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, 208). The Jews were shy of settling in a city built over an old cemetery; and Herod had trouble in finding occupants for it. A strange company it was that he ultimately gathered of the "poorer people," foreigners, and others "not quite freemen"; and these were drawn by the prospect of good houses and land which he freely promised them. With its stadium, its palace "with figures of living things" and its senate, it may be properly described as a Greek city, although it also contained a proseuche, or place of prayer, for the Jews (BJ II, xxi, 6; Vita, XII, 54, etc.). This accounts for it figuring so little in the Gospels. In his anxiety to win the favor of the Jews, Herod built for them "the finest synagogue in Galilee"; but many years were to elapse before it should become a really Jewish city.

Superseding Sepphoris, Tiberias was the capital of Galilee under Agrippa I and the Roman procurators. It surrendered to Vespasian, and was given by Nero to Agrippa II, Sepphoris again becoming the capital. During the Jewish war its inhabitants were mainly Jewish, somewhat turbulent and difficult to manage. In 100 AD, at Agrippa’s death, the Romans assumed direct control. After the fall of Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin retreated to Galilee, first to Sepphoris, and then to Tiberias. Here, some time before 220 AD, under supervision of the famous Rabbi Jehuda ha-Nasi’," Judah the Prince," or, as he is also called ha-qadhosh, "the Holy," the civil and ritual laws, decrees, customs, etc., held to be of binding obligation, handed down by tradition, but not having Scriptural authority, were codified and written down, under the title of "Mishna." Here also later was compiled the Jerusalem Talmud (Yerushalmi), as distinguished from that compiled in Babylon (Babhli). The city thus became a great center of Jewish learning. Maimonides’ tomb is shown near the town, and that of Aqiba on the slope of the mountain, where it is said 24,000 of his disciples are buried with him.

In Christian times Tiberias was the seat of a bishop. It fell to the Moslems in 637. It changed hands several times as between the Crusaders and the Saracens. It was finally taken by the Moslems in 1247.

The enclosing walls of the modern city, and the castle, now swiftly going to ruin, were built by Tancred and repaired by Daher el-‘Omar in 1730. There are over 5,000 inhabitants, mostly Jews, in whose hands mainly is the trade of the place. The fishing in the lake, in which some 20 boats are occupied, is carried on by Moslems and Christians. Tiberias is the chief inhabited place on the lake, to which as in ancient days it gives its name, Bachr Tabariyeh, "Sea of Tiberias" (Joh 6:1; 21:1). It is the market town for a wide district. The opening of the Haifa-Damascus Railway has quickened the pulse of life considerably. A steamer and motor boat ply between the town and the station at Semach, bringing the place into easy touch with the outside world. The water of the lake is largely used for all purposes, although there are cisterns for rain water under some of the houses.

After a residence of over five years in the city, the present writer can say that it does not deserve the evil reputation which casual travelers have given it. In matters of cleanliness and health it stands comparison very well with other oriental towns. Sometimes, in east wind; it is very hot, thermometer registering over 114 Degrees Fahrenheit in the shade. The worst time is just at the beginning of the rainy season, when the impurities that have gathered in the drought of summer are washed into the sea, contaminating the water.

The United Free Church of Scotland has here a well-equipped mission to the Jews.

W. Ewing




ti-be’-ri-us (Tiberios):

1. Name and Parentage:

The 2nd Roman emperor; full name Tiberius Claudius Nero, and official name as emperor Tiberius Caesar Augustus; born November 16, 42 BC. His father—of the same name—had been an officer under Julius Caesar and had later joined Antony against Octavian (Augustus). His mother was Livia, who became the 3rd wife of Augustus; thus Tiberius was a stepson of Augustus.

2. Early Life and Relation to Augustus:

Much of his early life was spent in successful campaigning. Although the ablest of the possible heirs of Augustus, Tiberius was subjected to many an indignity, Augustus accepting him as his successor only when every other hope failed. When Julia, daughter of Augustus, became a widow for the second time (12 BC), Tiberius was obliged to marry her (11 BC) in order to become protector of the future emperors. For this purpose he was compelled to divorce his wife, Vipsania Agrippina, who had borne him a son, Drusus. Julia brought Tiberius nothing but shame, and for her immorality was banished by her father (2 BC). Tiberius was consul in 12 BC, and received the proconsular authority, 9 BC. He carried on successful wars in Pannonia, Dalmatia, Armenia and Germany. He retired in disgust to voluntary exile at Rhodes where he spent several years in study. In 2 AD, he returned to Rome, and lived there in retirement, 2-4 AD. On June 27, 4 AD, Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus were adopted by Augustus. From this date on Tiberius came more and more into prominence, receiving the tribunician power for 10 years.

3. Reign:

In 13 AD (or according to Mommsen 11 AD) Tiberius was by a special law raised to the co-regency. Augustus died August 19, 14 AD, and Tiberius succeeded. A mutiny in the Rhine legions was suppressed by Germanicus. The principal events of his reign (see also below) were the campaigns of Germanicus and Drusus, the withdrawal of the Romans to the Rhine, the settlement of the Armenian question, the rise and fall of Sejanus, the submission of Parthia. In 26 AD, Tiberius retired to Capreae, where rumor attributed to him every excess of debauchery. On March 16, 37 AD, Tiberius died at Misenum and was succeeded by Caius.

4. Administration:

On the whole, Tiberius followed the conservative policy of Augustus and maintained the "diarchy." But he approached nearer to monarchy by receiving supreme power for an indefinite period. He went beyond Augustus in practically excluding the people from government by transferring the right of election from the comitia of the people to the senate, leaving to the people the right merely to acclaim the nominees of the senate, and further by imposing laws upon the people without their counsel or discussion. He established a permanent praetorian camp at Rome—a fact of great importance in later Roman history. The administration of Tiberius was that of a wise, intelligent statesman with a strong sense of duty. The civil service was improved, and officers were kept longer at their posts to secure efficiency. Taxes were light on account of his economy. Public security increased. He paid attention to the administration of justice and humane laws were placed on the statute-book.

5. Character:

Though Tiberius was unpopular, he left the empire in a state of prosperity and peace. Of his character the most opposite views are held. His fame has suffered especially from his suspecting nature, which extended the law of majestas to offenses against his person and encouraged delation, which made the latter part of his reign one of terror. The tyranny of Sejanus, too, has been laid upon his shoulders, and he has been accused of the wildest excesses in his retreat at Capreae—a charge which seems to be refuted by the fact that no interruption to his wise administration took place. His character has been blackened most by Tacitus and Suetonius. But on nearer criticism Tiberius’s character will appear in better light. No doubt, toward the close of his reign he degenerated, but his cruelties affected only the upper classes. He was called a tyrant and was refused deification after death, and Augustus was said to have prophesied "Alas for the Roman people who shall be ground under such slow jaws." Tiberius was stern and taciturn, critical with himself and, soured by his own disappointments, was suspicious of others. Pliny the Elder calls him "the gloomiest of men." Much of his unpopularity was due to his inscrutability, to the fact that people could not understand him or penetrate into the mystery of his motives. He rarely took counsel with anyone. His life was frugal and modest—a rebuke to the contemporary dissipation. He felt contempt for the inanities of court life and was supremely indifferent to public opinion, but actuated by a strong sense of duty.

6. Tiberius and the New Testament:

The reign of Tiberius is memorable as that in which fell our Lord’s public ministry, death and resurrection. It also witnessed the preaching of John the Baptist (Lu 3:1), the conversion of Paul and perhaps his first preaching, the martyrdom of Stephen and the first Christian persecution (by the Jews). Tiberius is mentioned by name only once in the New Testament (Lu 3:1): "the 15th year of the reign (hegemonia) of Tiberius." The question is, From what date is this to be reckoned—the date of Tiberius’s co-regency, 13 (or 11) AD, or from his accession, 14 AD? He is the "Caesar" mentioned in the Gospels in connection with Jesus’ public ministry (Mr 12:14 and parallel’s; Joh 19:12,15). Herod Antipas built Tiberias in honor of Tiberius (Josephus, Ant, XVIII, ii-iii). It is unlikely that Tiberius ever heard anything about Christianity; it had not risen as yet into prominence. Early Christian writers wished to represent Tiberius, if not friendly to the new faith, at least as condemning the action of Pilate. According to one apocryphal tradition, Tiberius actually summoned Pilate to Rome to answer for crucifying Jesus. It is true that Pilate was sent to Rome by the governor of Syria to answer to a charge of unjustifiable cruelty, but Tiberius died before Elate reached Rome.

7. Tiberius and the Jews:

Under Tiberius Palestine was governed by Roman procurators. Toward the Jews in Italy, Tiberius showed some intolerance. In 19 AD all the Jews were expelled from Rome according to Josephus (Ant., XVIII, iii, 5), from Italy according to Tacitus (Ann. ii.85), and 4,000 Jewish freedmen were deported to Sardinia to reduce bands of brigands. Philo attributes this severity to Sejanus, and says that after Sejanus’ fall Tiberius, recognizing that the Jews had been persecuted without cause, gave orders that officials should not annoy them or disturb their rites. They were therefore probably allowed to return to Rome (see Schurer, III, 60 f, 4th edition).


(a) Ancient literature, as modern, is divided on its estimate of Tiberius; Tacitus Annals i-vi; Dio Cassius Rom. Hist. xivi-xivii, and Suetonius Tib. painting him in the darkest colors, while Velleius Paterculus II gives the other side.

(b) Of modern literature it is enough to cite on opposite sides: J. C. Tarver, Tiberius the Tyrant, 1902; Ihne, Zur Ehrenrettung des K. Tib., 1892, and the moderate estimate of Merivale, Romans under the Empire.

S. Angus


tib’-hath (tibhchath; Metabechas, Codex Alexandrinus Matebeth; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Thebath; Peshitta Tebhach): A city of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, from which David took much of the brass used later by Solomon in the construction of the temple-furnishings (1Ch 18:8). In 2Sa 8:8 we must for the beTach of the Massoretic Text read with the Syriac Tebhach. It may be the same as the Tubihi of the Tell el-Amarna Letters; the Dibhu of the Karnak lists; and the Tubihi mentioned with Kadesh on the Orontes in the "Travels of an Egyptian" in the reign of Rameses II. The site is unknown, but it must have been on the eastern slopes of Anti-Lebanon, between which and the Euphrates we must locate Hadadezer’s kingdom of Zobah. "Tebah" occurs also as an Aramaic personal or tribal name in Ge 22:24.

W. M. Christie


tib’-ni (tibhni; Codex Vaticanus Thamnei, Codex Alexandrinus Thamni, Lucian Thabennei): A rival of Omri for the throne of Israel after the death of Zimri (1Ki 16:21 f). This is the only reference to Tibni that has come down to us; a comparison of this passage with the account of Zimri’s death (especially 1Ki 16:15) shows that the length of the struggle was four years.


ti’-dal (tidh‘al; Thalga, Thalgal, Codex E, Thargal):

1. The Name and Its Forms:

Tidal is mentioned in Ge 14:1,9 in the account of the expedition of Chedorlaomer of Elam, with his allies, Amraphel of Shinar (Babylonia), Arioch of Ellasar, and Tidal, who is called "king of nations" (the King James Version) (goyim, Targum ‘ammin). Whether the last-named took part in this expedition as one of Chedorlaomer’s vassals or not is unknown. The Greek form possibly prints to an earlier pronunciation Tadgal.

2. Its Babylonian Equivalent:

The only name in the cuneiform inscriptions resembling Tidal is Tudhula, or, as it was probably later pronounced, Tudhul. This, from its form, might be Sumerian, meaning "evil progeny," or the like. In addition to the improbability of a name with such a signification, however, his title "king of goyim," or "nations," in Ge 14:1, presupposes a ruler of another race.

3. The Babylonian Tudhula and His Time:

The inscription in which the name Tudhula occurs is one of three of late date (4th to 3rd century BC), all referring, apparently, to the same historical period. The text in question (Sp. iii.2) is of unbaked clay, and is broken and defaced. After referring to a ruler who did not maintain the temples, Durmah-ilani son of Eri-Aku (Arioch) is referred to, appatently as one who ravaged the country, and "waters (came) over Babylon and E-sagila," its great temple. The words which follow suggest that Durmah-ilani was slain by his son, after which a new invader appeared, who would seem to have been Tudhula, son of Gazza(ni?). He likewise ravaged the land, and floods again invaded Babylon and E-sagila. To all appearance he met with the fate which overtook Durmah-ilani—death at the hands of his son, who "smote his head." Then came the Elamite, apparently Chedorlaomer, who was likewise slain. This inscription, therefore, gave historical quotations of the fate which overtook those who were regarded as enemas of the gods.

4. Doubts as to His Identity:

Though we have here the long-sought name of Tidal, it may legitimately be doubted whether this personage was the ruler of that name mentioned in Ge 14. The "nations" (goyim) which he ruled are regarded by Sayce as having been wandering hordes (umman manda), probably Medes. On the other hand, the occurrence of the name Dudhalia, son of Hattusil (Khetasir), contemporary of Rameses II, in the inscriptions found at Hattu, the capital of the Hittites, suggests that that extensive confederation may have been the "nations" referred to. In other words, Tidal or Tudhula (for Dudhalia) was an earlier ruler bearing the same name as Hattusil’s son.

5. Probably a Hittite:

If he be, as is possible, the same personage as is mentioned in Ge 14, he must have fought against Arioch’s son, conquered his domains and been killed, in his turn, by either the Biblical Chedorlaomer or another Elamite ruler beaming the same or a similar name. See AMRAPHEL; ARIOCH; CHEDORLAOMER; ERI-AKU; NATIONS.





tighlath pil’eser, as the name is read in 2 Kings, tilleghath pilnecer, in 2 Chronicles; Septuagint Algathphellasar; Assyrian, Tukulti-abal-i-sarra): King of Assyria in the days of Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah, kings of Israel, and of Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz, kings of Judah. The king of Assyria, whom the historian of 2 Kings knows as exacting tribute from Menahem, is Pul (2Ki 15:19 f). In the days of Pekah who had usurped the throne of Menahem’s son and successor, Pekahiah, the king of Assyria is known as Tiglath-pileser, who invaded Naphtali and carried the inhabitants captive to Assyria (2Ki 15:29). This invasion is described by the Chronicler (1Ch 5:25 f) rather differently, to the effect that "the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river of Gozan, unto this day." Still later we find Pekah forming a coalition with Rezin, king of Damascus, into which they tried to force Ahaz, even going the length of besieging him in Jerusalem (2Ki 16:5). The siege was unsuccessful. Ahaz called in the aid of Tiglath-pileser, sacrificing his independence to get rid of the invaders (2Ki 16:7,8). He offered the Assyrian the silver and gold that were found in the house of the Lord and in the royal treasury; and Tiglath-pileser, in return, invaded the territories of Damascus and Israel in the rear, compelling the allied forces to withdraw from Judah, while he captured Damascus, and carried the people away to Kir and slew Rezin (2Ki 16:9). It was on the occasion of his visit to Damascus to do homage to his suzerain Tiglath-pileser, that Ahaz fancied the idolatrous altar, a pattern of which he sent to Urijah, the priest, that he might erect an altar to take the place of the brazen altar which was before the Lord in the temple at Jerusalem. It is a significant comment which is made by the Chronicler (2Ch 28:21) upon the abject submission of Ahaz to the Assyrian king: "It helped him not."

From the inscriptions we learn particulars which afford striking corroboration of the Biblical narrative and clear up some of the difficulties involved. It is now practically certain that Pul, who is mentioned as taking tribute from Menahem, is identical with Tiglath-pileser (Schrader, COT, I, 230, 231). In all probability Pul, or Pulu, was a usurper, who as king of Assyria assumed the name of one of his predecessors, Tiglath-pileser I, and reigned as Tiglath-pileser III. This king of Assyria, who reigned, as we learn from his annals, from 745 BC to 727 BC, was one of the greatest of Assyrian monarchs. See ASSYRIA. From the fact that no fewer than five Hebrew kings are mentioned in his annals, the greatest interest attaches to his history as it has come down to us. These kings are Uzziah or Azariah, and Jehoahaz, that is Ahaz, of Judah; and Menahem, Pekah and Hushes of Israel. Along with them are mentioned their contemporaries Rezin of Damascus, Hiram of Tyre, and two queens of Arabia otherwise unknown, Zabibi and Samsi. When he died in 727 BC, he was succeeded by Shalmaneser IV, who had occasion to suspect the loyalty of his vassal Hoshea, king of Israel, and besieged him in Samaria.


Schrader, COT, I, 229-57; McCurdy, HPM, sections 279-341.

T. Nicol


ti’-gris (Tigris, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew chiddeqel): One of the rivers of Eden going "eastward to Assyria" (Ge 2:14 margin), called the Great River (Da 10:4), elsewhere mentioned in the apocryphal books, as in Tob 6:1; Judith 1:6; Ecclesiasticus 24:25, called Diglath in Josephus, and Diglit in Pliny, now called in Mesopotamia Dijleh, generally supposed to be a Semitic corruption of Tigra, meaning originally an arrow, which from its rapidity of motion is symbolized. The Tigris rises in the mountains of Armenia, latitude 38 degrees 10 minutes, longitude 39 degrees 20 minutes, only a few miles from the main branch of the Euphrates. After pursuing a tortuous southeasterly course for 150 miles, it is joined by the east branch at Osman Kieui, some distance below Diarbekr. Here the stream is 450 ft. wide and 3 or 4 ft. deep. Passing through numerous mountain gorges for another 150 miles, it emerges into the region of low hills about Nineveh, and a little below into the great alluvial plain of Mesopotamia. Thence in its course to Bagdad it is joined by the Great Zab, the Lesser Zab, the Adhem, and the Diyaleh rivers, bringing a large amount of water from the Zagros Mountains. At Bagdad the overflows from the Euphrates in high water often increase the inundations. The flood season begins early in the month of March, reaching its climax about May 1, declining to its natural level by midsummer. In October and November, the volume of water increases considerably, but not so much as to overflow its banks. Below Bagdad, throughout the region of Babylonia proper, the Tigris joins with the Euphrates in furnishing the water for irrigation so successfully used in ancient times. English engineers are at present with great promise of success aiming to restore the irrigating systems of the region and the prosperity of ancient times. The total length of the river is 1,146 miles. It now joins the Euphrates about 40 miles Northwest of the Persian Gulf, the two streams there forming the Shat el Arab, but in early historical times they entered the Persian Gulf by separate mouths, the Gulf then extending a considerable distance above the present junction of the rivers, the sediment of the streams having silted up the head of the Gulf to that distance.

See also EDEN.

George Frederick Wright


tik’-va, tik’-vath (tiqwah, "hope"):->/ CS, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Cs:hebrewIt+chiddeqelIT-/ CS): One of the rivers of Eden going "eastward to Assyria" (Ge 2:14 margin), called the Great River (Da 10:4), elsewhere mentioned in the apocryphal books, as in Tob 6:1; Judith 1:6; Ecclesiasticus 24:25, called Diglath in Josephus, and Diglit in Pliny, now called in Mesopotamia Dijleh, generally supposed to be a Semitic corruption of Tigra, meaning originally an arrow, which from its rapidity of motion is symbolized. The Tigris rises in the mountains of Armenia, latitude 38 degrees 10 minutes, longitude 39 degrees 20 minutes, only a few miles from the main branch of the Euphrates. After pursuing a tortuous southeasterly course for 150 miles, it is joined by the east branch at Osman Kieui, some distance below Diarbekr. Here the stream is 450 ft. wide and 3 or 4 ft. deep. Passing through numerous mountain gorges for another 150 miles, it emerges into the region of low hills about Nineveh, and a little below into the great alluvial plain of Mesopotamia. Thence in its course to Bagdad it is joined by the Great Zab, the Lesser Zab, the Adhem, and the Diyaleh rivers, bringing a large amount of water from the Zagros Mountains. At Bagdad the overflows from the Euphrates in high water often increase the inundations. The flood season begins early in the month of March, reaching its climax about May 1, declining to its natural level by midsummer. In October and November, the volume of water increases considerably, but not so much as to overflow its banks. Below Bagdad, throughout the region of Babylonia proper, the Tigris joins with the Euphrates in furnishing the water for irrigation so successfully used in ancient times. English engineers are at present with great promise of success aiming to restore the irrigating systems of the region and the prosperity of ancient times. The total length of the river is 1,146 miles. It now joins the Euphrates about 40 miles Northwest of the Persian Gulf, the two streams there forming the Shat el Arab, but in early historical times they entered the Persian Gulf by separate mouths, the Gulf then extending a considerable distance above the present junction of the rivers, the sediment of the streams having silted up the head of the Gulf to that distance.

(1) The father-in-law of Huldah the prophetess (2Ki 22:14) (Codex Vaticanus Thekkouau; Codex Alexandrinus Thekkoue; Lucian Thekoue), called in 2Ch 34:22 "Tokhath" (Qere Kethibh Codex Vaticanus Kathoual; Codex Alexandrinus Thakouath, Lucian Thekoe). The reading of 2 Kings is to be preferred.

(2) The father of Jahzeiah (Ezr 10:15) (Codex Vaticanus Helkeia; Codex Alexandrinus Thekoue, called "Theocanus," Revised Version "Thocanus" in 1 Esdras 9:14).


til, til’-ing (lebhenah, "brick" Eze 4:1; keramos, "potter’s clay," "a tile," Lu 5:19).

See EZEKIEL, II, 1, (2); HOUSE, II, 1, (10).


til’-gath-pil-ne’-zer, til’-gath-pil-ne’-ser.






ti’-lon (tilon; Kethibh, Qere; Codex Vaticanus Inon; Codex Alexandrinus Thilan; Lucian Tholeim: A son of Shimon (1Ch 4:20).


ti-me’-us (Timaios (Mr 10:46); English Versions of the Bible, "Timaeus").




See MUSIC, III, 3, (1).


tim: The basis of the Hebrew measurement of time was the day and the lunar month, as with the Semites generally. The division of the day into hours was late, probably not common until after the exile, although the sun-dial of Ahaz (2Ki 20:9; Isa 38:8) would scent to indicate some division of the day into periods of some sort, as we know the night was divided, The word used for "hour" is Aramaic she‘a’ (sha‘ta’), and does not occur in the Old Testament until the Book of Daniel (4:33; 5:5), and even there it stands for an indefinite period for which "time" would answer as well.

1. The Day:

The term "day" (yom) was in use from the earliest times, as is indicated in the story of the Creation (Ge 1). It there doubtless denotes an indefinite period, but is marked off by "evening and morning" in accordance with what we know was the method of reckoning the day of 24 hours, i.e. from sunset to sunset.

2. Night:

The night was divided, during pre-exilic times, into three divisions called watches (’ashmurah, ‘ashmoreth), making periods of varying length, as the night was longer or shorter (Jud 7:19). This division is referred to in various passages of the Old Testament, but nowhere with indication of definite limits (see Ps 90:4; 119:148; Jer 51:12; Hab 2:1).

In the New Testament we find the Roman division of, etc.). But the use of the word in the indefinite sense, as in the expressions: "day of the Lord," "in that day," "the day of judgment," etc., is far more frequent (see DAY). Other more or less indefinite periods of the day and night are: dawn, dawning of the day, morning, evening, noonday, midnight, cock-crowing or crowing of the cock, break of day, etc.

3. Week:

The weekly division of time, or the seven-day period, was in use very early and must have been known to the Hebrews before the Mosaic Law, since it was in use in Babylonia before the days of Abraham and is indicated In the story of the Creation. The Hebrew shabhua‘, used in the Old Testament for "week," is derived from shebha‘, the word for "seven." As the seventh day was a day of rest, or Sabbath (Hebrew shabbath), this word came to be used for "week," as appears in the New Testament sabbaton, sabbata), indicating the period from Sabbath to Sabbath (Mt 28:1). The same usage is implied in the Old Testament (Le 23:15; 25:8). The days of the week were indicated by the numerals, first, second, etc., save the seventh, which was the Sabbath. In New Testament times Friday was called the day of preparation (paraskeue) for the Sabbath (Lu 23:54).

4. Month:

The monthly division of time was determined, of course, by the phases of the moon, the appearance of the new moon being the beginning of the month, chodhesh. Another term for month was yerach yerach, meaning "moon," which was older and derived from the Phoenician usage, but which persisted to late times, since it is found in the Aramaic inscriptions of the 3rd century AD in Syria. The names of the months were Babylonian and of late origin among the Hebrews, probably coming into use during and after the Captivity. But they had other names, of earlier use, derived from the Phoenicians, four of which have survived in "Abib," "Ziv," "Ethanim" and "Bul."


5. Year:

The Hebrew year (shanah) was composed of 12 or 13 months, the latter being the year when an intercalary month was added to make the lunar correspond with the solar year. As the difference between the two was from ten to eleven days, this required the addition of a month once in about three years, or seven in nineteen years. This month was added at the vernal equinox and was called after the month next preceding, we-’adhar, or the "second Adar." We do not know when this arrangement was first adopted, but it was current after the Captivity. There were two years in use, the civil and the ritual, or sacred year. The former began in the autumn, as would appear from Ex 23:16; 34:22, where it is stated that the "feast of ingathering" should be at the end of the year, and the Sabbatic year began in the 7th month of the calendar or sacred year, which would correspond to September-October (Le 25:9). Josephus says (Ant., I, iii, 3) that Moses designated Nican (March-April) as the 1st month of the festivals, i.e. of the sacred year, but preserved the original order of the months for ordinary affairs, evidently referring to the civil year. This usage corresponds to that of the Turkish empire, where the sacred year is lunar and begins at different seasons, but the financial and political year begins in March O.S. The beginning of the year was called ro’sh ha-shanah, and was determined by the priests, as was the beginning of the month. Originally this was done by observation of the moon, but, later, calculation was employed in connection with it, until finally a system based on accurate calculation was adopted, which was not until the 4th century AD. New-Year was regarded as a festival.

See ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 5; YEAR.

6. Seasons:

The return of the seasons was designated by summer and winter, or seed-time and harvest; for they were practically the same. There is, in Palestine, a wet season, extending from October to March or April, and a dry season comprising the remainder of the year. The first is the winter (choreph), and this is the seed-time (zera‘), especially the first part of it called yoreh, or the time of the early rain; the second is the summer (qayits, "fruit-harvest," or qatsir, "harvest").

Seed-time begins as soon as the early rains have fallen in sufficient quantity to moisten the earth for plowing, and the harvest begins in some parts, as in the lower Jordan region, near the Dead Sea, about April, but on the high lands a month or two later. The fruit harvest comes in summer proper and continues until the rainy season. "The time when kings go out to war" (2Sa 11:1; 1Ki 20:22) probably refers to the end of the rainy season in Nican.

7. No Era:

We have no mention in the Old Testament of any era for time reckoning, and we do not find any such usage until the time of the Maccabees. There are occasional references to certain events which might have served for eras had they been generally adopted. Such was the Exodus in the account of the building of the temple (1Ki 6:1) and the Captivity (Eze 33:21; 40:1) and the Earthquake (Am 1:1). Dates were usually fixed by the regnal years of the kings, and of the Persian kings after the Captivity. When Simon the Maccabee became independent of the Seleucid kings in 143-142 or 139-138 BC, he seems to have established an era of his own, if we may attribute to him a series of coins dated by the years "of the independence of Israel" (see COINS: MONEY; also 1 Macc 13:41 and 15:6,10). The Jews doubtless were familiar with the Seleucid era, which began in 312 BC, and with some of the local eras of the Phoenician cities, but we have no evidence that they made use of them. The era of the Creation was not adopted by them until after the time of Christ. This was fixed at 3,830 years before the destruction of the later temple, or 3760 BC.

See ERA.

H. Porter




(Da 12:7; compare 7:25; Re 12:14): A luni-solar cycle.

See ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 5.




tim’-na (timna‘; Thamna): A conbubine of Eliphaz, Esau’s son, and the mother of Amalek (Ge 36:12). But in Ge 36:22 and 1Ch 1:39 Timna is the sister of Lotan, and in Ge 36:40 and 1Ch 1:51 a chief or elan of Edom (see TIMNAH (3)). These variations are to be expected when the origin of genealogies is recalled. (In Genesis, English Versions of the Bible read, contrary to rule, "Timnah.") Gunkel’s theory is that Ge 36:12 is a later insertion in P.


tim’-na (timnah, timnathah (Jos 19:43; Jud 14:1,2,5), "allotted portion; Codex Vaticanus Thamnatha; also several Greek variations; King James Version has Timnath in Ge 38:12,13,14; Jud 14:1,2,5; and Thimnathah in Jos 19:43):

(1) A town in the southern part of the hill country of Judah (Jos 15:57). Tibna proposed by Conder, a ruin 8 miles West of Bethlehem, seems too far N. (PEF, III, 53, Sh XVII). It is possible this may be the "Timnah" of Ge 38:12,13,14.

(2) A town on the northern border of Judah (Jos 15:10), lying between Beth-shemesh and Ekron. It is probably the same Timnah as Judah visited (Ge 38:12-14), and certainly the scene of Samson’s adventures (Jud 14:1 f); his "father-in-law" is called a "Timnite" (Jud 15:6). At this time the place is clearly Philistine (Jud 14:1), though in Jos 19:43 it is reckoned to Dan. Being on the frontier, it probably changed hands several times. In 2Ch 28:18 it was captured from the Philistines by Ahaz, and we learn from Assyrian evidence (Prison Inscription) that Sennacherib captured a Tamna after the battle of Alteka before he besieged Ekron (Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Altes Testament, 170). The site is undoubted. It is now a deserted ruin called Tibneh on the southern slopes of the Wady es Surar (Valley of Sorek), about 2 miles West of Beth-shemesh. There is a spring, and there are evident signs of antiquity (PEF, II, 417, 441, Sh XVI).

(3) There was probably a Timna in Edom (Ge 36:12,22,40; 1Ch 1:39,51). Eusebius and Jerome (in Onomasticon) recognized a Thamna in Edom at their time.

(4) The "Thamnatha" of 1 Macc 9:50 (the King James Version) is probably another Timnah, and identical with the Thamna of Josephus (BJ, III, iii, 5; IV, viii, 1). This is probably the Tibneh, 10 miles Northwest of Bethel, an extensive ruin.

E. W. G. Masterman





tim-nath-he’rez (timnath cherec, "portion of the sun"; Codex Vaticanus Thamnathares; Codex Alexandrinus Thamnathar; heos): This is the form of the name given to Joshua’s property and place of burial in Jud 2:9. The name in Jos 19:50; 24:30 is Timnath-serah. "Serah" simply reverses the order of the letters in "Heres." Scholars are divided in opinion as to which form is correct. It is possible that the change from Heres to Serah may have been deliberate, in order to avoid a form which might savor of idolatry—sun-worship. The Jews and Samaritans hold that Heres is the original form.

W. Ewing


tim-nath-se’-ra (timnath cerach; Codex Vaticanus Thamarchdres; Codex Alexandrinus Thamathsara): This place, assigned as an inheritance to Joshua, is described as being in Mt. Ephraim, on the north side of the mountain of Gaash (Jos 19:50; 24:30). Here, when his work was done, the great leader was laid to rest. The mountain of Gaash unfortunately cannot be identified. Josephus says that Joshua was buried at Thamna, a city of Ephraim (Ant., V, i, 29), which probably corresponds to Thamna, the head of a Jewish toparchy (BJ, III, iii, 5). Vespasian marched from Thamnatha to Lydda, which apparently was near (IV, viii, 1). The place was taken and reduced to slavery by Cassius (Ant., XIV, xi, 2). It was put in charge of John the Essene at the beginning of the Jewish war (BJ, II, xx, 4). Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. "Thamna" and "Thamnathsara") identifies it with "Timnath" of Ge 38:12 the King James Version, placing it in the mountain in the tribe of Da (or Judah), on the way from Diospolis (Lydda) to Jerusalem. The tomb of Joshua was still shown there. This points to Tibneh, in the uplands 12 miles Northeast of Lydda. South of the village, in the face of a rock, are a series of rock-hewn tombs, the largest of which, containing 14 loculi, and a small chamber behind with one loculus, may be that associated with Joshua by Eusebius, Onomasticon. A giant oak grows hard by perhaps the greatest tree in Palestine. Kefr Ishu‘a, "village of Joshua," lies about 3 miles to the East. This identification is now generally accepted.

The Samaritan tradition points to the tomb of Joshua at Kefr Charis, 9 miles South of Nablus. Outside the village to the East are two shrines. One is called Neby Kifl, the other, Neby Kala‘a. The former, "prophet of division," or "of the portion," might apply to Joshua; the latter is identified with Caleb. This identification assumes that the first element of the name has fallen out, the second only surviving.

W. Ewing


tim’-nit (timni Thamnathaios): The father of Samson’s wife, a native of Timnah (Jud 15:6).


ti’-mon (Timon): One of "the seven" chosen to relieve the apostles by attending to "the daily ministration" to the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem (Ac 6:5). The name is Greek, but as Nicolaus is distinguished from the remaining six as a proselyte, Timon and the others were probably Jews by birth.


ti-mo’-the-us (Timotheos):

(1) A leader of the children of Ammon who was on several occasions severely defeated by Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 5:6 ff, 34 ff; 2 Macc 8:30; 9:3; 10:24; 19:2,18 ff) in 165-163 BC. According to 2 Macc 10:37, he was slain at Gazara after having hidden in a cistern. But in 2 Macc 12:2 he is again at liberty as an opponent of the Jews, and in 12:24 f he falls into the hands of Dositheus and Sosipater, but by representing that many Jewish captives were at his mercy and likely to suffer if he were put to death, he is again released. These discrepancies are so great—though not unusual in 2 Maccabees—that some suppose another Timotheus is referred to in 12:2 ff. He is most probably the same person, the careless author of 2 Maccabees making a slip in saying Timotheus was killed at Gazara. He probably escaped by hiding in the cistern. The Greek name for an Ammonite leader is striking:

(a) he may have been a genuine Ammonite with a Greek name, or

(b) a Syro-Macedonian officer placed by Syrian authority over the Ammonites, or

(c) a Greek soldier of fortune invited by the Ammonites to be their commander.

(2) See next article.

S. Angus


tim’-o-thi (Timotheos (Ac 17:14; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Ro 16:21; 1Co 4:17; 16:10; 2Co 1:1,19; Php 1:1; 2:19; Col 1:1; 1Th 1:1; 3:2,6; 2Th 1:1; 1Ti 1:2,18; 6:20; 2Ti 1:2; Phm 1:1; Heb 13:23; the King James Version, Timotheus):

1. One of Paul’s Converts:

Timothy was one of the best known of Paul’s companions and fellow-laborers. He was evidently one of Paul’s own converts, as the apostle describes him as his beloved and faithful son in the Lord (1Co 4:17); and in 1Ti 1:2 he writes to "Timothy my true child in faith"; and in 2Ti 1:2 he addresses him as "Timothy my beloved child."

2. A Native of Lystra:

He was a resident, and apparently a native, either of Lystra or Derbe, cities which were visited and evangelized by Paul on his 1st missionary journey (Ac 14:6). It is probable that of these two cities, it was Lystra treat was Timothy’s native place. For instance, in Ac 20:4 in a list of Paul’s friends there are the names of "Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy"; this evidently infers that Timothy was not "of Derbe." And in Ac 16:3, the brethren who gave Paul the good report of Timothy were "at Lystra and Iconium"; the brethren from Derbe are not mentioned. Lystra was evidently Timothy’s native city.

3. Converted at Lystra:

In 2Ti 3:10,11 Paul mentions that Timothy had fully known the persecutions and afflictions which came to him at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra. These persecutions occurred during the apostle’s first visit to these towns; and Timothy seems to have been one of those who were converted at that time, as we find that on Paul’s next visit to Lystra and Derbe, Timothy was already one of the Christians there: "He came also to Derbe and to Lystra: and behold a certain disciple was there, named Timothy" (Ac 16:1).

Timothy was now chosen by Paul to be one of his companions. This was at an early period in Paul’s apostolic career, and it is pleasing to find that to the end of the apostle’s life Timothy was faithful to him.

4. His Father and Mother:

Timothy’s father was a heathen Greek (Hellen, not Hellenistes, a Greek-speaking Jew); this fact is twice mentioned (Ac 16:1,3). His mother was a Jewess, but he had not been circumcised in infancy, probably owing to objections made by his father. Timothy’s mother was called Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. Paul mentions them by name in 2Ti 1:5; he there speaks of the unfeigned faith which was in Timothy, and which dwelt at the first in Eunice and Lois. It is evident that Eunice was converted to Christ on Paul’s 1st missionary journey to Derbe and Lystra, because, when he next visited these cities, she is spoken of as "a Jewess who believed" (Ac 16:1).

5. Becomes a Co-worker with Paul:

On this 2nd visit to Derbe and Lystra, Paul was strongly attracted to Timothy, and seeing his unfeigned faith, and that from a child he had known the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament (2Ti 3:15), and seeing also his Christian character and deportment, and his entire suitability for the work of the ministry, he would have him "to go forth with him" (Ac 16:3). Timothy acquiesced in Paul’s desire, and as preliminaries to his work as a Christian missionary, both to Jew and Gentile, two things were done. In order to conciliate the Jewish Christians, who would otherwise have caused trouble, which would have weakened Timothy’s position and his work as a preacher of the gospel, Paul took Timothy and circumcised him.

6. Circumcised:

Paul was willing to agree to this being done, on account of the fact that Timothy’s mother was a Jewess. It was therefore quite a different case from that of Titus, where Paul refused to allow circumcision to be performed (Ac 15:2)—Titus being, unlike Timothy, a Gentile by birth.


The other act which was performed for Timothy’s benefit, before he set out with Paul, was that he was ordained by the presbytery or local council of presbyters in Derbe and Lystra.

7. His Ordination:

Showing the importance which Paul assigned to this act of ordination, he refers to it in a letter to Timothy written many years afterward: "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery" (1Ti 4:14). In this ordination Paul himself took part, for he writes, "I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee through the laying on of my hands" (2Ti 1:6).

"2Ti 1:6 should be viewed in the light of 1Ti 4:14. Probably it was prophetic voices (through prophecy; compare 1Ti 1:18, ‘according to the prophecies which went before in regard to thee’) which suggested the choice of Timothy as assistant of Paul and Silvanus, and his consecration to this work with prayer and the laying on of hands (compare Ac 13:2 f). The laying on of hands by the presbyters (1Ti 4:14), and that by Paul (2Ti 1:6), are not mutually exclusive, especially since the former is mentioned merely as an accompanying circumstance of his endowment with special grace, the latter as the efficient cause of this endowment. The churches in the neighborhood of Timothy’s home, according to Ac 14:23, had been furnished with a body of presbyters soon after their founding" (Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, II, 23).

8. Accompanies Paul:

Thus, prepared for the work, Timothy went forth with Paul on the apostle’s 2nd missionary journey. We find Timothy with him at Berea (Ac 17:14), having evidently accompanied him to all places visited by him up to that point, namely, Phrygia, the region of Galatia, Mysia, Troas, Neapoils, Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Thessalonica and Berea. Paul next went—and went alone, on account of the persecution at Berea—to Athens (Ac 17:15); and from that city he sent a message to Silas and Timothy at Berea, that they should come to him at Athens with all speed. They quickly came to him there, and were immediately sent on an errand to the church in Thessalonica; "When we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left behind at Athens alone; and sent Timothy, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow-labourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: that no man should be moved by these afflictions" (1Th 3:1,2,3 the King James Version). Timothy and Silas discharged this duty and returned to the apostle, bringing him tidings of the faith of the Christians in Thessalonica, of their love and of their kind remembrance of Paul, and of their ardent desire to see him; and Paul was comforted (1Th 3:5,6,7).

9. At Corinth:

Paul had left Athens before Silas and Timothy were able to rejoin him. He had proceeded to Corinth, and it was while the apostle was in that city, that "when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ" (Ac 18:5). Timothy evidently remained with Paul during the year and six months of his residence in Corinth, and also throughout this missionary journey to its end. From Corinth Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans, and he sent them a salutation from Timothy, "Timothy my fellow-worker saluteth you" (Ro 16:21).

10. Salutations:

In connection with this salutation from Timothy, it should be noticed that it was Paul’s custom to associate with his own name that of one or more of his companions, in the opening salutations in the Epistles. Timothy’s name occurs in 2Co 1:1; Php 1:1; Col 1:1; Phm 1:1. It is also found, along with that of Silvanus, in 1Th 1:1 and 2Th 1:1.

11. At Ephesus:

On Paul’s 3rd missionary journey, Timothy again accompanied him, though he is not mentioned until Ephesus was reached. This journey involved much traveling, much work and much time. At Ephesus alone more than two years were spent. And when Paul’s residence there was drawing to a close, he laid his plans to go to Jerusalem, after passing en route through Macedonia and Achaia. Accordingly he sent on before him "into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timothy and Erastus" (Ac 19:22).

12. To Corinth Again:

From Ephesus Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians (1Co 16:8), and in it he mentioned (1Co 16:10) that Timothy was then traveling to Corinth, apparently a prolongation of the journey into Macedonia. After commending him to a kind reception from the Corinthians, Paul proceeded to say that Timothy was to return to him from Corinth; that is, Timothy was to bring with him a report on the state of matters in the Corinthian church.

13. In Greece:

Soon thereafter the riot in Ephesus occurred; and when it was over, Paul left Ephesus and went to Macedonia and Greece. In Macedonia he was rejoined by Timothy, whose name is associated with his own, in the opening salutation of the Second Epistle, which he now wrote to Corinth. Timothy accompanied him into Greece, where they abode three months.

14. In Jerusalem:

From Greece the apostle once more set his face toward Jerusalem, Timothy and others accompanying him (Ac 20:4). "We that were of Paul’s company" (Ac 21:8 the King James Version), as Luke terms the friends who now traveled with Paul—and Timothy was one of them—touched at Troas and a number of other places, and eventually reached Jerusalem, where Paul was apprehended. This of course terminated, for the time, his apostolic journeys, but not the cooperation of his friends, or of Timothy among them.

15. In Rome:

The details of the manner in which Timothy was now employed are not recorded, until he is found once more with Paul—during his 1st imprisonment in Rome. But, from that point onward, there are many notices of how he was occupied in the apostle’s service. He is mentioned in three of the Epistles written by Paul at this time, namely, in Col 1:1, and Phm 1:1, in both of which his designation is "Timothy our brother," and in Php 1:1, "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus." In Php 2:19, there is the interesting notice that, at a time when Paul’s hope was that he would soon be liberated from his imprisonment, he trusted that he would be able to send Timothy to visit the church at Philippi:

16. To Visit Philippi:

"I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will care truly for your state. .... But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send forthwith."

17. Appointed to Ephesus:

Paul’s hope was realized: he was set free; and once again Timothy was his companion in travel. Perhaps it was in Philippi that they rejoined each other, for not only had Paul expressed his intention of sending Timothy there, but he had also said that he hoped himself to visit the Philippian church (Php 1:26; 2:24). From this point onward it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to trace the course of Paul’s journeys, but he tells us that he had left Timothy as his delegate or representative in Ephesus (1Ti 1:3); and soon thereafter he wrote the First Epistle to Timothy, in which he gave full instructions in regard to the manner in which he should conduct the affairs of the Ephesian church, until Paul himself should again revisit Ephesus: "These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly" (1Ti 3:14).

18. His Position in Ephesus:

"The position which Timothy occupied in Ephesus, as it is described in 1 Timothy, cannot without doing the greatest violence to history be called that of a bishop, for the office of bishop existed only where the one bishop, superior to the presbytery, represented the highest expression of the common church life. The office was for life, and confined to the local church. This was particularly the case in Asia Minor, where, although as early as the time of Revelation and the time of Ignatius, bishoprics were numerous and closely adjacent, the office always retained its local character. On the other hand, Timothy’s position at the head of the churches of Asia was due to the position which he occupied as Paul’s helper in missionary work. It was his part in the apostolic calling, as this calling involved the oversight of existing churches. Timothy was acting as a temporary representative of Paul in his apostolic capacity at Ephesus, as he had done earlier in Corinth, and in Thessalonica and Philippi (1Co 4:17; 1Th 3:2 f; Php 2:19-23). His relation was not closer to one church than to the other churches of the province; its rise and disappearance did not affect at all the organization of the local congregations" (Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, II, 34).

19. Paul Summons Him to Rome:

From the Second Epistle still further detail can be gathered. Paul was a second time imprisoned, and feeling that on this occasion his trial would be followed by an adverse judgment and by death, he wrote from Rome to Timothy at Ephesus, affectionately requesting him to come to him: "Give diligence to come shortly unto me" (2Ti 4:9). The fact that at that time, when no Christian friend was with Paul except Luke (2Ti 4:11), it was to Timothy he turned for sympathy and aid, closing with the request that his own son in the faith should come to him, to be with him in his last hours, shows how true and tender was the affection which bound them together. Whether Timothy was able to reach Rome, so as to be with Paul before his execution, is unknown.

20. Mention in Hebrews 13:

One other notice of him occurs in Heb 13:23: "Know ye that our brother Timothy hath been set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you." As the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not Paul, it is problematical what the meaning of these words really is, except that Timothy had been imprisoned and—unlike what took place in Paul’s case—he had escaped death trod had been set free.

21. His Character:

Nothing further is known of him. Of all Paul’s friends, with the exception, perhaps, of Luke, Paul’s beloved friend, Timothy was regarded by him with the tenderest affection; he was his dearly loved son, faithful and true. Various defects have been alleged to exist in Timothy’s character. These defects are inferred from the directions and instructions addressed to him by Paul in the Pastoral Epistles, buy these inferences may be wrong, and it is a mistake to exaggerate them in view of his unbroken and unswerving loyalty and of the long and faithful service rendered by him to Paul, "as a child serveth a father" (Php 2:22).

John Rutherfurd




tin (bedhil): Tin is mentioned with brass, iron and lead in Nu 31:22; Eze 22:18,20. Ezekiel mentions tin along with silver, iron and lead as being imported into Tyre from Tarshish (see METALS). The tin must have been brought in the form of ore and smelted in Syria. The writer has some slag dug from a deposit near Beirut which yielded nearly pure tin. It was probably the site of an ancient smelter’s shop.

Alfred Ely Day


tif’-sa (tiphcach, "ford"; Thapsa):

(1) This marks the northern extremity of the dominions ruled by Solomon, Gaza being the limit on the South (1Ki 4:24). It can hardly be other than Thapsacus, on the right bank of the Euphrates, before its waters join those of the Balik. The great caravan route between East and West crossed the river by the ford at this point. Here Cyrus the younger effected a somewhat perilous crossing (Xenophon, Anabasis i.4, 2). The ford was also used by Darius; but Alexander the Great, in his pursuit constructed two bridges for the transport of his army (Arrian iii.7). Under the Seleucids it was called Amphipolis. The site is probably occupied by the modern Qal‘at Dibse, where there is a ford still used by the caravans. It is about 8 miles below Meskene, where the river makes a bend to the East.

(2) (Codex Vaticanus Thersa, Codex Alexandrinus Thaira): The inhabitants of this town, which was apparently not far from Tirzah, did not favor the regicide Menahem, refusing to open to him. In his wrath he massacred the Tiphsites with circumstances of horrible cruelty (2Ki 15:16). Khirbet Tafsah, about 6 miles Southwest of Nablus, corresponds in name, but is probably too far from Tirzah.

W. Ewing


ti’-ras (tirac; Theiras, Lucian Thiras): A son of Japheth (Ge 10:2 (P); 1Ch 1:5). Not mentioned elsewhere; this name was almost unanimously taken by the ancient commentators (so Josephus, Ant, I, vi, 1) to be the same as that of the Thracians (Thrakes); but the removal of the nominative ending -s does away with this surface resemblance. Tuch was the first to suggest the Tursenioi, a race of Pelasgian pirates, who left many traces of their ancient power in the islands and coasts of the Aegean, and who were doubtless identical with the Etruscans of Italy. This brilliant suggestion has since been confirmed by the discovery of the name Turusa among the seafaring peoples who invaded Egypt in the reign of Merenptah (W.M. Muller, AE, 356 ff). Tiras has also been regarded as the same as Tarshish.

Horace J. Wolf


ti’-rath-its (tir‘athim; Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus, Argathieim; Lucian, Tharathei: A family of scribes that dwelt at Jabez (1Ch 2:55). The three families mentioned in this verse (Tirathites, Shimathites and Sucathites) are taken by Jerome to be three different classes of religious functionaries—singers, scribes, recorders ("canentes atque resonances et in tabernaculis commorantes"). The Targum takes the same view, save that the "Sucathites" are those "covered" with a spirit of prophecy. Bertheau sees the Tirathites as "gate-keepers" (Aramaic tera‘ = Heb] sha‘ar). Keil holds the three names to be those of the descendants of unknown men named Tira, Shemei and Sucah. The passage seems too obscure to admit of interpretation.

Horace J. Wolf


tir (2Ki 9:30; Isa 3:20; Eze 24:17,23; Judith 10:3; 16:8).



tirz: Small ornaments in the shape of crescents (Isa 3:18 King James Version, Revised Version "crescents").



ter-ha’-ka, tir-ha’-ka (tirhaqah; Codex Vaticanus in 2 Kings Thara; elsewhere and in Codex Alexandrinus Tharaka; Josephus Tharsikes):

1. Name and Prenomen:

The king of Cush or Ethiopia (basileus Aithiopon), who opposed Sennacherib in Palestine (2Ki 19:9; Isa 37:9). The name of this ruler of Egypt and his native realm appears in hieroglyphics as Taharqa, his prenomen being Nefer-atmu-Ra-chu, "Nefer-atmu-Ra protects." The Assyrian form of Tirhakah is Tarqu or Tarqu’u (inscriptions of Assur-bani-pal).

2. Origin and Length of Reign:

Tirhakah was one of the sons, and apparently the favorite, of Piankhy II. He left his mother, and the city Napata, at the age of 20; and when she followed him northward, she found him crowned as king of Egypt. As he died, after a reign of at least 26 years, in 667 BC, he must have mounted the throne about 693 BC.

3. A Chronological Difficulty

The engagement between Tirhakah’s army and the Assyrians is regarded as having taken place in 701 BC. Petrie explains this date by supposing he acted at first for the reigning Pharaoh, his cousin Shabatoka, Tirhakah not having officially become Pharaoh until the former’s death in 693 BC. There is a general opinion, however, that the Assyrian historians, like those of 2 King and Isaiah, have mingled two campaigns made by Sennacherib, one of them being after the accession of Tirhakah.

4. First Conflict with the Assyrians:

According to the Old Testament account, Sennacherib was besieging Libnah when Tirhakah’s army appeared in Palestine. In Sennacherib’s inscriptions, however, the battle with "the king(s) of Mucuru (Egypt) and the bowmen, chariots, and cavalry of Meruhha" (Meroe or Ethiopia), who had come to Hezekiah’s help, took place in the neighborhood of Eltekeh. He claims to have captured the sons of the king (variant, "kings") of Egypt and the charioteers of the king of Meruhha, and then, having taken Eltekeh, Timna, and Ekron, he brought out Padi from Jerusalem, and resented him on the throne of Ekron. The name of Tirhakah does not occur in his account.

5. Struggles with Esar-haddon and Assur-bani-pal. His Death:

It would seem to have been Egypt’s interference in Palestinian affairs which caused the Assyrian kings to desire the conquest of that distant country. According to the Babylonian Chronicle, the Assyrian army fought in Egypt in the 7th year of Esar-haddon (675 BC), and the country was then apparently quiet until 672 BC, when Esar-haddon marched thither, and after fighting three battles, entered Memphis. "The king" (Tirhakah) fled, but his sons and nephews were made prisoners. In the latter campaign (670 BC) Esar-haddon fell ill and died on the way out, so that the operations were, apparently, completed by his son, Assur-bani-pal (Osnap-par); On hearing of the Assyrian success at Kar-Baniti, Tirhakah, who was at Memphis, fled to Thebes. The 20 petty kings installed in Egypt by Esar-haddon were restored by Assur-bani-pal, but they feared the vengeance of Tirhakah after the Assyrian army had retired, and therefore made an agreement with him. On this news reaching the Assyrian king, he sent his army back to Egypt, and the petty rulers having been abolished, Necho king of Memphis and Sais was set on the throne, with his son, Nabu-sizbanni, as ruler in Athribes. On hearing of the success of the Assyrian armies, Tirhakah fled, and died in Cush (Ethiopia). He was suceeded by TanTamane (Identified with Tanut-Amon), son of Sabaco, whom the Assyrians defeated in the last expedition which they ever made to Egypt (see W. F. Petrie, History of Egypt, III, 294 ff).

T. G. Pinches


tur’-ha-na, ter-ha’-na (tirchanah; Codex Vaticanus Tharam; Codex Alexandrinus Tharchna, Lucian Tharaana): A son of Caleb by his concubine, Maacah (1Ch 2:48).


tir’-i-a, ti’-ri-a (tireya’, Baer tirya’; Codex Vaticanus omits it; Codex Alexandrinus Theria; Lucian Ethria): A son of Jehallelel (1Ch 4:16).


ter-sha’-tha, tur’-sha-tha (tirshatha’; Hathersatha): A title which occurs 5 times in Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezr 2:63; Ne 7:65, the American Standard Revised Version and the English Revised Version margin "governor"). In Ne 8:9; 10:1, Nehemiah is called the tirshatha’. In Ezr 2:63; Ne 7:65,70, it is the title of Sheshbazzar, or Zerubbabel. As in Ne 12:26, Nehemiah is called a pechah, or governor, a title which in Ezr 5:14 is given to Sheshbazzar also, it has been supposed that pechah and tirshatha’ were equivalent terms, the former being of Assyrio-Babylonian and the latter of Persian origin. According to Lagarde, it comes from the Bactrian antarekshatra, that is, "he who takes the place of the king." According to Meyer and Scheftelowitz it is a modified form of a hypothetical Old Persian word tarsata. According to Gesenius and Ewald, it is to be compared with the Persian torsh, "severe," "austere," i.e. "stern lord." It seems more probable that it is derived from the Babylonian root rashu, "to take possession of," from which we get the noun rashu, "creditor." In this case it may well have had the sense of a tax-collector. One of the principal duties of the Persian satrap, or governor, was to assess and collect the taxes (see Rawlinson’s Persia, chapter viii). This would readily account for the fact that in Ne 7:70 the tirshatha’ gave to the treasure to be used in the building of the temple a thousand drachms of gold, etc., and that in Ezr 1:8 Cyrus numbered the vessels of the house of the Lord unto Sheshbazzar. This derivation would connect it with the Aramaic rashya, "creditor," and the New Hebrew rashuth, "highest power," "magistrate."

R. Dick Wilson


tur’-za (tirtsah; Thersa):

(1) A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was slain by Joshua (12:24). It superseded Shechem as capital of the Northern Kingdom (1Ki 14:17, etc.), and itself gave place in turn to Samaria. Here reigned Jeroboam, Nadab his son, Baasha, Elah and Zimri (1Ki 15:21,33; 16:6,8,9,15). Baasha was buried in Tirzah. Here Elah was assassinated while "drinking himself drunk" in the house of his steward; here therefore probably he was buried. Zimri perished in the flames of his palace, rather than fall into Omri’s hands. In Tirzah Menahem matured his rebellion against Shallum (2Ki 15:14). The place is mentioned in So 6:4 the King James Version, where the Shulammite is said to be "beautiful .... as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem." The comparison may be due to the charm of its situation. The name may possibly be derived from ratsah, "to delight." Several identifications have been suggested. Buhl (Geographic des alten Palestina, 203) favors et-tireh, on the West of the plain of Makhneh, 4 miles South of Nablus, which he identifies with the Tira-thana of Josephus. He quotes Neubauer to the effect that the later Jews said Tir‘an or Tar‘ita instead of Tirzah, as weakening the claim of Telluzah, which others (e.g. Robinson, BR, III, 302) incline to. It is a partly ruined village with no spring, but with ancient cisterns, on a hill about 4 miles East of North from Nablus. This was evidently the place intended by Brocardius—Thersa, about 3 miles East of Samaria (Descriptio, VII). A third claimant is Teiasir, a fortress at the point where the road from Abel-meholah joins that from Shechem to Bethshan, fully 11 miles Northeast of Nablus. It is impossible to decide with certainty. The heavy "T" in Telluzah is a difficulty. Teiasir is perhaps too far from Shechem. Buhl’s case for identification with eT-Tireh is subject to the same difficulty as Telluzah.

(2) One of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Nu 26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Jos 17:3).

W. Ewing



See ELIJAH; Expostory Times, XII, 383.


tish’-re, tiz’-re: The 7th month of the Jewish ecclesiastical, and 1st of the civil, year (September-October). The same as Ethanim.



ti’-tanz: In Judith 16:7, "Neither did the sons of the Titans (huioi Titanon) smite him." The name of an aboriginal Canaanitish race of reputed giants who inhabited Palestine before the Hebrews, and so used in the sense of "giants" in general. See REPHAIM. In 2Sa 5:18,22, the "valley of Rephaim" is translated by the Septuagint as "the valley of the Titans."


tith (ma‘aser; dekate): The custom of giving a 10th part of the products of the land and of the spoils of war to priests and kings (1 Macc 10:31; 11:35; 1Sa 8:15,17) was a very ancient one among most nations. That the Jews had this custom long before the institution of the Mosaic Law is shown by Ge 14:17-20 (compare Heb 7:4) and Ge 28:22. Many critics hold that these two passages are late and only reflect the later practice of the nation; but the payment of tithes is so ancient and deeply rooted in the history of the human race that it seems much simpler and more natural to believe that among the Jews the practice was in existence long before the time of Moses.

In the Pentateuch we find legislation as to tithes in three places.

(1) According to Le 27:30-33, a tithe had to be given of the seed of the land, i.e. of the crops, of the fruit of the tree, e.g. oil and wine, and of the herd or the flock (compare De 14:22,23; 2Ch 31:5,6). As the herds and flocks passed out to pasture they were counted (compare Jer 33:13; Eze 20:37), and every 10th animal that came out was reckoned holy to the Lord. The owner was not allowed to search among them to find whether they were bad or good, nor could he change any of them; if he did, both the one chosen and the one for which it was changed were holy. Tithes of the herds and flocks could not be redeemed for money, but tithes of the seed of the land and of fruit could be, but a 5th part of the value of the tithe had to be added.

(2) In Nu 18:21-32 it is laid down that the tithe must be paid to the Levites. (It should be noted that according to Heb 7:5, ‘they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood .... take tithes of the people.’ Westcott’s explanation is that the priests, who received from the Levites a tithe of the tithe, thus symbolically received the whole tithe. In the time of the second temple the priests did actually receive the tithes. In the Talmud (Yebhamoth 86a et passim) it is said that this alteration from the Mosaic Law was caused by the sin of the Levites, who were not eager to return to Jerusalem, but had to be persuaded to do so by Ezra (Ezr 8:15).) The Levites were to receive the tithes offered by Israel to Yahweh, because they had no other inheritance, and in return for their service of the tabernacle (Nu 18:21,24). The tithe was to consist of corn of the threshing-floor and the fullness of the wine press (Nu 18:27), which coincides with seed of the land and fruit of the trees in Le 27. The Levites, who stood in the same relation to the priests as the people did to themselves, were to offer from this their inheritance a heave offering, a tithe of a tithe, to the priests (compare Ne 10:39), and for this tithey were to choose of the best part of what they received.

(3) In De 12:5,6,11,18 (compare Am 4:4) it is said that the tithe is to be brought "unto the place which Yahweh your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put his name there," i.e. to Jerusalem; and in De 12:7,12,18, that the tithe should be used there as a sacred meal by the offerer and his household, including the Levite within his gates. Nothing is said here about tithing cattle, only grain, wine and oil being mentioned (compare Ne 10:36-38; 13:5,12). In De 14:22-29 it is laid down that if the way was too long to carry the tithe to Jerusalem it could be exchanged for money, and the money taken there instead, where it was to be spent in anything the owner chose; and whatever was bought was to be eaten by him and his household and the Levites at Jerusalem. In the third year the tithe was to be reserved and eaten at home by the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow. In De 26:12-15 it is laid down that in the 3rd year, after this feast had been given, the landowner should go up himself before the Lord his God, i.e. to Jerusalem, and ask God’s blessing on his deed. (According to the Mishna, CoTah 9 10; Ma‘aser Sheni 5 65, the high priest Johanan abolished this custom.) In this passage this 3rd year is called "the year of tithing."

There is thus an obvious apparent discrepancy between the legislation in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. It is harmonized in Jewish tradition, not only theoretically but in practice, by considering the tithes as three different tithes, which are named the First Tithe, the Second Tithe, and the Poor Tithe, which is called also the Third Tithe (Pe’ah, Ma‘aseroth, Ma‘ser Sheni, Dema’i, Ro’sh ha-shanah; compare Tobit 1:7,8; Ant, IV, iv, 3; viii, 8; viii, 22). According to this explanation, after the tithe (the First Tithe) was given to the Levites (of which they had to give the tithe to the priests), a Second Tithe of the remaining nine-tenths had to be set apart and consumed in Jerusalem. Those who lived far from Jerusalem could change this Second Tithe into money with the addition of a 5th part of its value. Only food, drink or ointment could be bought for the money (Ma‘aser Sheni 2 1; compare De 14:26). The tithe of cattle belonged to the Second Tithe, and was to be used for the feast in Jerusalem (Zebhachim 5 8). In the 3rd year the Second Tithe was to be given entirely to the Levites and the poor. But according to Josephus (Ant., IV, viii, 22) the "Poor Tithe" was actually a third one. The priests and the Levites, if landowners, were also obliged to give the Poor Tithe (Pe’ah 1 6).

The explanation given by many critics, that the discrepancy between Deuteronomy and Leviticus is due to the fact that these are different layers of legislation, and that the Levitical tithe is a post-exilian creation of the Priestly Code, is not wholly satisfactory, for the following reasons:

(1) The allusion in De 18:1,2 seems to refer to the Levitical tithe.

(2) There is no relation between the law of Nu 18 and post-exilian conditions, when the priests were numerous and the Levites a handful.

(3) A community so poor and disaffected as that of Ezra’s time would have refused to submit to a new and oppressive tithe burden.

(4) The division into priests and Levites cannot have been of the recent origin that is alleged.


W. R. Smith and others suggest that the tithe is simply a later form of the first-fruits, but this is difficult to accept, since the first-fruits were given to the priest, while the tithes were not. The whole subject is involved in considerable obscurity, which with our present information cannot easily be cleared away.

The Talmudic law of tithing extends the Mosaic Law, with most burdensome minuteness, even to the smallest products of the soil. Of these, according to some, not only the seeds, but, in certain cases, even the leaves and stalks had to be tithed (Ma‘aseroth 4 5), "mint, anise, and cummin" (Dema’i 11 1; compare Mt 23:23; Lu 11:42). The general principle was that "everything that is eaten, that is watched over, and that grows out of the earth" must be tithed (Ma‘aseroth 1 1).

Considering the many taxes, religious and secular, that the Jews had to pay, especially in post-exilian times, we cannot but admire the liberality and resourcefulness of the Jewish people. Only in the years just after the return from exile do we hear that the taxes were only partially paid (Ne 13:10; compare Mal 1:7 ff; and for pre-exilian times compare 2Ch 31:4 ff). In later times such cases seldom occur (Sotah 48a), which is the more surprising since the priests, who benefited so much by these laws of the scribes, were the adversaries of the latter.

Paul Levertoff


ti’-t’-l: Joh 19:19,20 for titlos.

The following arrangement of the title on the cross has been suggested: See Geikie, Life and Words of Christ, chapter lxiii, note e; Seymour, The Cross in Tradition, History and Art (New York, 1898), pp. 115, 116,136, 138.

In 2Ki 23:17, the King James Version has "title" for tsiyyun. The word is connected with tsawah, "to command," and King James Version seems to have understood tsiyyun as "that giving directions," "sign-posts" (compare Eze 39:15). The word, however, means "grave-stone," "monument."



tit’-’-l (keraia (Westcott-Hort, kerea), from keras, "a horn"): A small stroke or mark, specif. on a letter to denote accent, or as a diacritical mark; used only in Mt 5:18 and Lu 16:17. In the first passage it is used in connection with iota, or jot, i.e. the very smallest thing, and in both it refers to the minutiae of the Law. It is well known that the scribes paid the greatest attention to such marks attached to the letters in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Massoretic Text of which abounds in them.



ti’-tus (Titos (2Co 2:13; 7:6,13; 8:6,16,23; 12:18; Ga 1:2:1,3; 2Ti 4:10; Tit 1:4)):

1. One of Paul’s Converts:

A Greek Christian, one of Paul’s intimate friends, his companion in some of his apostolic journeys, and one of his assistants in Christian work. His name does not occur in the Acts; and, elsewhere in the New Testament, it is found only in 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 2 Timothy and Titus. As Paul calls him "my true child after a common faith" (Tit 1:4), it is probable that he was one of the apostle’s converts.

2. Paul Refuses to Have Him Circumcised:

The first notice of Titus is in Ac 15:2, where we read that after the conclusion of Paul’s 1st missionary journey, when he had returned to Antioch, a discussion arose in the church there, in regard to the question whether it was necessary that Gentile Christians should be circumcised and should keep the Jewish Law. It was decided that Paul and Barnabas, "and certain other of them," should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question. The "certain other of them" includes Titus, for in Ga 2:3 it is recorded that Titus was then with Paul. The Judaistic party in the church at Jerusalem desired to have Titus circumcised, but Paul gave no subjection to these persons and to their wishes, "no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you" (Ga 2:5). The matter in dispute was decided as recorded in Ac 15:13-29. The decision was in favor of the free promulgation of the gospel, as preached by Paul, and unrestricted by Jewish ordinances. Paul’s action therefore in regard to Titus was justified. In fact Titus was a representative or test case.

It is difficult and perhaps impossible to give the true reason why Titus is not mentioned by name in the Acts, but he is certainly referred to in 15:2.

3. Sent to Corinth:

There is no further notice of Titus for some years afterward, when he is again mentioned in 2 Corinthians. In this Epistle his name occurs 8 times. From the notices in this Epistle it appears that Titus had been sent by Paul, along with an unnamed "brother," to Corinth as the apostle’s delegate to the church there (2Co 12:18). His chief business was evidently to deal with the cases of immorality which had occurred there. His mission was largely successful, so that he was able to return to Paul with joy, because his spirit was refreshed by the Corinthians (2Co 7:13). His inward affection was largely drawn out to them, and "he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him" (2Co 7:15). At Corinth Titus seems also to have assisted in organizing the weekly collections for the poor saints in Jerusalem. See 1Co 16:1,2 compared with 2Co 8:6: "We exhorted Titus, that as he had made a beginning before, so he would also complete in you this grace also."

After the departure of Titus from Corinth, difficulty had again arisen in the church there, and Titus seems to have been sent by Paul a second time to that city, as the apostle’s messenger, carrying a letter from him—referred to in 2Co 2:3 ff; 7:8 ff.

4. Paul Goes to Meet Him:

The state of the Corinthian church had been causing much anxiety to Paul, so much so that when he had come to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to him of the Lord, he found no rest in his spirit, because he found not Titus, his brother; so he left Troas, and went thence into Macedonia, in order to meet Titus the sooner, so as to ascertain from him how matters stood in Corinth. In Macedonia accordingly the apostle met Titus, who brought good news regarding the Corinthians. In the unrest and fightings and fears which the troubles at Corinth had caused Paul to experience, his spirit was refreshed when Titus reached him. "He that comforteth the lowly, even God, comforted us by the coming of Titus .... while he told us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced yet more" (2Co 7:6,7).

Paul now wrote to the Corinthians again—our Second Epistle to the Corinthians—and dispatched it to its destination by the hand of Titus, into whose heart ‘God had put the same earnest care for them’ (2Co 8:16-18). Titus was also again entrusted with the work of overseeing the weekly collection in the Corinthian church (2Co 8:10,24).

5. Travels with Paul to Crete:

There is now a long interval in the history of Titus, for nothing further is recorded of him till we come to the Pastoral Epistles. From Paul’s Epistle to him these details are gathered: On Paul’s liberation at the conclusion of his first Roman imprisonment he made a number of missionary journeys, and Titus went with him, as his companion and assistant, on one of these—to the island of Crete. From Crete, Paul proceeded onward but he left Titus to "set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city" (Tit 1:5) . Paul reminds him of the character of the people of Crete, and gives him various instructions for his guidance; charges him to maintain sound doctrine, and advises him how to deal with the various classes of persons met with in his pastoral capacity.

6. Paul Sends for Him:

Titus is informed that Artemas or Tychicus will be sent to Crete so that he will be free to leave the island and to rejoin the apostle at Nicopolis, where he has determined to winter. Such were Paul’s plans; whether they were carried out is unknown. But this at least is certain, that Titus did rejoin Paul, if not at Nicopolis, then at some other spot; and he was with him in Rome on the occasion of his 2nd imprisonment there, for he is mentioned once again (2Ti 4:10) as having gone to Dalmatia, evidently on an evangelistic errand, as the apostle was in the habit of sending his trusted friends to do such work, when he himself was no longer able to do this, owing to his imprisonment. "Paul regarded as his own the work done from centers where he labored, by helpers associated with him, considering the churches thus organized as under his jurisdiction. This throws light upon the statement in 2Ti 4:10, that Titus at that time had gone to Dalmatia, and a certain Crescens to Gaul. There is no indication that they, like Demas, had deserted the apostle and sought safety for themselves, or that, like Tychicus, they had been sent by the apostle upon some special errand. In either case it would be a question why they went to these particular countries, with which, so far as we know, Paul, up to this time, had never had anything to do. The probability is that Titus, who had long been associated with Paul (Ga 2:3), who, as his commissioner, had executed difficult offices in Corinth (2Co 7-9), and who, not very long before 2 Timothy was written, had completed some missionary work in Crete that had been begun by others, had gone as a missionary and as Paul’s representative and helper to Dalmatia. .... If by this means, beginnings of church organizations had been made .... in Spain by Paul himself, in Gaul by Crescens, in Dalmatia by Titus, then, in reality, the missionary map had been very much changed since Paul’s first defense" (Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament. II, 11).

7. His Character:

Titus was one of Paul’s very dear and trusted friends; and the fact that he was chosen by the apostle to act as his delegate to Corinth, to transact difficult and delicate work in the church there, and that he did this oftener than once, and did it thoroughly and successfully, shows that Titus was not merely a good but a most capable man, tactful and resourceful and skillful in the handling of men and of affairs. "Whether any inquire about Titus, he is my partner and fellow-worker to you-ward" (2Co 8:23).

John Rutherfurd


tish’-us jus’-tus.







(Titos or Titios Ioustos (Ac 18:7)): Titus or Titius—for the manuscripts vary in regard to the spelling—was the prenomen of a certain Corinthian, a Jewish proselyte (sebomenos ton Theon). See PROSELYTE). His name seems also to indicate that he was a Roman by birth. He is altogether a different person from Titus, Paul’s assistant and companion in some of his journeys, to whom also the Epistle to Titus is addressed.

Titus or Titius Justus was not the "host of Paul at Corinth" (HDB, article "Justus," p. 511), for Luke has already narrated that, when Paul came to Corinth, "he abode with" Aquila and Priscilla (Ac 18:3). What is said of Titius Justus is that when the Jews in Corinth opposed themselves to Paul and blasphemed when he testified that Jesus was the Christ, then Paul ceased to preach the gospel in the Jewish synagogue as he had formerly done, and "he departed thence, and went into the house of a certain man named Titus Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue" (Ac 18:7).

"Titius Justus was evidently a Roman or a Latin, one of the coloni of the colony Corinth. Like the centurion Cornelius, he had been attracted to the synagogue. His citizenship would afford Paul an opening to the more educated class of the Corinthian population" (Ramsay, Paul the Traveler and the Ro Citizen, 256).

Paul’s residence in Corinth continued for a year and a half, followed without a break by another period indicated in the words, he "tarried after this yet many days" (Ac 18:11,18), and during the whole of this time he evidently used the house of Titius Justus, for the purposes both of preaching the gospel and of gathering the church together for Christian worship and instruction, "teaching the word of God among them" (Ac 18:11).

Titius Justus, therefore, must have been a wealthy man, since he possessed a house in which there was an apartment sufficiently large to be used for both of these purposes; and he himself must have been a most enthusiastic member of the church, when in a period of protracted difficulty and persecution, he welcomed Paul to his house, that he might use it as the meeting-place of the church in Corinth.

See JUSTUS, (2).

John Rutherfurd


ti’-zit (ha-titsi; Codex Vaticanus ho Ieasei; Codex Alexandrinus ho Thosaei; Lucian Athosi): A gentilic attached to the name "Joha" (1Ch 11:45), one of the soldiers of David; the origin is totally unknown.





tob, tob (’erets Tobh, "a good land"; ge Tob): Hither Jephthah escaped from his brethren after his father’s death (Jud 11:3), and perfected himself in the art of war, making forays with "the vain fellows" who joined him. Here the elders of Gilead found him, when, reduced to dire straits by the children of Ammon, they desired him to take command of their army (Jsg 11:5 ff). This country contributed 12,000 men to the forces of the allies, who with the Ammonites were defeated by Israel (2Sa 10:8). In 1 Macc 5:13 we read of the land of Tubins where the Jews, about 1,000 men, were slain by the Gentiles, their wives and children being carried into captivity. The Tubieni, "men of Tobit" of 2 Macc 12:17, were probably from this place. Ptolemy (v.19) speaks of Thauba, a place to the Southwest of Zobah, which may possibly be Tobit. The Talmud (Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, 239) identifies the land of Tobit with the district of Hippene. Tobit would then be represented by Hippos, modern Susiyeh, to the Southwest of Fiq on the plateau East of the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps the most likely identification is that supported by G. A. Smith (HGHL, 587), with eT-Taiyibeh, 10 miles South of Umm Qeis (Gadara). The name is the same in meaning as Tobit.

W. Ewing


tob-ad-o-ni’-ja, tob-(Tobh ‘adhoniyah, "good is the Lord"; Codex Vaticanus Tobadobeia; Codex Alexandrinus and Lucian Tobadonia): One of the Levites sent by King Jehoshaphat to teach in the cities of Judah (2Ch 17:8). The name looks like a dittography arising from the two previous names, Adonijah and Tobijah.


to-bi’-a (Tobhiyah; Codex Alexandrinus Tobias; omitted in Codex Vaticanus):

(1) An Ammonite slave (King James Version, "servant"), probably of Sanballat, the governor of Samaria (Ne 2:10). He was grieved exceedingly when Nehemiah came to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. In two ways he was connected by marriage with the Jews, having himself married the daughter of Shecaniah, the son of Arab, and his son Jehohanan having married the daughter of Meshullam, the son of Berechiah (Ne 6:18). Because of this close connection with the Jews, the nobles of the latter corresponded by letter with him and also reported his good deeds to Nehemiah and reported Nehemiah’s words to Tobiah. In consequence of the report, Tobiah sent letters to Nehemiah to put him in fear (6:17-19). Nehemiah seems to have considered him to be his chief enemy; for he put him before Sanballat in his prayers to God to remember his opponents according to their works (6:14). In 13:4 we are told that he was an ally of Eliashib, the high priest who had the oversight of the chambers of the house of God and had prepared for him as a guest chamber the room which had before been used as a storehouse for offerings of various kinds. Nehemiah, having heard during his second visit to Jerusalem of this desecration of the temple, cast out the household stuff of Tobiah and cleansed the chambers, restoring the vessels of God and the offerings as of old.

(2) The eponym of a family which returned with Zerubbabel, but could not trace its descent (Ezr 2:60; Ne 7:62).

R. Dick Wilson



(1) The son of Tobit.


(2) Tobias, Codex Alexandrinus Tobio the father (according to Josephus, grandfather) of HYRCANUS (which see) (2 Macc 3:11).





to-bi’-el, to’-bi-el (Tobiel, Codex Alexandrinus Tobiel): The father of Tobit (Tobit 1:1); another form of "Tabeel]" "God is good."


to-bi’-ja (Tobhiyah, "Yahweh is good"):

(1) A Levite in the reign of Jehoshaphat whom the king sent to teach in the cities of Judah (2Ch 17:8; Tobhiyahu; the Septuagint omits).

(2) One of a party of Jews that came from Babylon to Jerusalem with gold and silver for a crown for Zerubbabel and Joshua, or for Zerubbabel alone (Zec 6:10,14). The crown was to be stored in the temple in remembrance of the donors (the Septuagint in both passages translates Tobiyah by chresimoi, i.e. Tobheyha).



1. Name

2. Canonicity

3. Contents

4. Fact or Fiction?

5. Some Sources

6. Date

7. Place of Composition

8. Versions

9. Original Language


1. Name:

The book is called by the name of its principal hero which in Greek is Tobit, Tobeit and Codex N Tobeith. The original Hebrew word thus transliterated (Tobhiyah) means "Yahweh is good." The Greek name of the son is Tobias, a variant of the same Hebrew word. In the English, Welsh, etc., translations, the father and son are called Tobit and Tobias respectively, but in the Vulgate both are known by the same name—Tobias—the cause of much confusion. In Syriac the father is called Tobit, the son Tobiya, following apparently the Greek; the former is not a transliteration of the Hebrew form given above and assumes a different etymology, but what?

2. Canonicity:

Though this book is excluded from Protestant Bibles (with but few exceptions), Tobit 4:7-9 is read in the Anglican offertory, and at one time Tobias and Sarah occupied in the marriage service of the Anglican rubrics the position at present held by Abraham and Sarah. For the position of the book in the Septuagint, Vulgate and English Versions of the Bible, see JUDITH, 2.

3. Contents:

The Book of Tobit differs in essential matters in its various versions and even in different manuscripts of the same versions (compare the Septuagint). The analysis of the book which follows is based on the Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus, which English Versions of the Bible follow. The Vulgate differs in many respects. The book tells of two Jewish families, living, one at Nineveh, the other at Ecbatana, both of which had fallen into great trouble, but at length recovered their fortunes and became united by the marriage of the son of one to the daughter of the other. Tobit had, with his brethren of the tribe of Naphtali, been taken captive by Enemessar (= Shalmaneser). remaining in exile under his two successors, Sennacherib and Sarchedonus (Esar-haddon). During his residence in the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and after his removal to Nineveh (Assyria), he continued faithful to the Jewish religion and supported the observances of that religion at Jerusalem. Moreover, he fasted regularly, gave alms freely. and buried such of his fellow-countrymen as had been put to death with the approval or by the command of the Assyrian king. Notwithstanding this loyalty to the religion of his fathers and the fact that he buried Jewish corpses intended to be

disgraced by exposure, he like other Jews (Daniel, etc.) won favor at court by his upright demeanor and was made steward of the king’s estate. Under the next king (Sennacherib) all this was changed, for he not only lost his high office but was deprived of his wealth, and came perilously near to losing his life. Through an accident (bird dung falling into his eyes) he lost his sight, and, to make bad worse, his wife, in the manner of Job’s, taunted him with the futility of his religious faith. Job-like he prayed that God might take him out of his distress.

Now it happened that at this time another Jewish family, equally loyal to the ancestral faith, had fallen into similar distress—Raguel, his wife Edna and his daughter Sarah, who resided at Ecbatana (Vulgate "Rages"; compare Tobit 1:14) in Media. Now Sarah was an only daughter, comely of person and virtuous of character. She had been married to seven successive husbands, but each one of them had been slain on the bridal night by the demon Asmodeus, who seems to have been eaten up with jealousy and wished no other to have the charming maid whom he loved. The parents of Tobias at Nineveh, like those of Sarah at Ecbatana, wished to see their only child married that they might have descendants, but the marriage must be in each case to one belonging to the chosen race (Tobit 3:7-15; but see 7, below). The crux of the story is the bringing together of Tobias and Sarah and the frustration of the jealous murders of Asmodeus. In the deep poverty to which he had been reduced Tobit bethought himself of the money (ten talents, i.e. about 3,500 British pounds) which he had deposited with one Gabael of Rages. The Septuagint’s Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Vaticanus have Rhagoi) in Media (see Tobit 1:14). This he desired his son to fetch; but the journey is long and dangerous, and he must have a trustworthy guide which he finds in Raphael, an angel sent by God, but who appears in the guise of an orthodox Jew. The old man is delighted with the guide, whom, however, he first of all carefully examines, and dismisses his son with strict injunctions to observe the Law, to give alms and not to take to wife a non-Jewish (EV "strange") maiden (Tobit 4:3 ff). Proceeding on the journey they make a halt on reaching the Tigris, and during a bath in the river Tobias sees a fish that made as if it would devour him. The angel tells him to seize the fish and to extract from it and carefully keep its heart, liver and gall. Reaching Ecbatana they are hospitably lodged in the home of Raguel, and at once Tobias falls madly in love with the beautiful daughter Sarah, and desires to have her for wife. This is approved by the girl’s parents and by Raphael, and the marriage takes place. Before going together for the night the angel instructs the bridegroom to burn the heart and liver of the fish he had caught in the Tigris. The smoke that resulted acted as a countercharm, for it drove away the evil spirit who nevermore returned (Tobit 8:1 ff). At the request of Tobias, Raphael leaves for Rages and brings from Gabael the ten talents left in his charge by Tobit. Tobias and his bride led by the angel now set out for Nineveh amid the prayers and blessings of Raguel and with half his wealth. They are warmly welcomed by the aged and anxious parents Tobit and Anna, and Tobias’ dog which he took with him (Tobit 5:16) was so pleased upon getting back to the old home that, according to the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) rendering, he "ran on before as if bringing the news .... , showing his joy by fawning and by wagging his tail" (Vulgate Tobit 11:9; compare English Versions of the Bible 11:4). Upon reaching his father, acting upon Raphael’s directions, Tobias heals Tobit’s demon-caused blindness by applying to the old man’s eyes the gall of the fish, whereupon sight returns and the family’s cup of happiness is full. The angel is offered a handsome fee for the services he has rendered, but, refusing all, he declares who he is and why he was sent by God, who deserves all the praise, he none. Tobit, having a presentiment of the coming doom of Nineveh, urges his son to leave the country and make his home in Media after the death of his parents. Tobias is commanded to write the events which had happened to him in a book (12:20). We then have Tobit’s hymn of praise and thanksgiving and a record of his death at the age of 158 years (Tobit 13; 14). Tobias and Sarah, in accordance with Tobit’s advice, leave for Ecabatana. His parents-in-law follow his parents into the other world, and at the age of 127 he himself dies, though not before hearing of the destruction of Nineveh by Nebuchadnezzar (14:13-15).

4. Fact or Fiction?:

Luther seems to have been the first to call in question the literal historicity of this book, regarding it rather in the light of a didactic romance. The large number of details pervading the book, personal, local and chronological, give it the appearance of being throughout a historical record; but this is but part of the author’s article. His aim is to interest, instruct and encourage his readers, who were apparently in exile and had fallen upon evil times. What the writer seeks to make clear is that if they are faithful to their religious duties, giving themselves to prayer and almsgiving, burying their dead instead of exposing them on the "Tower of Silence," as did the Persians, then God would be faithful to them as He had been to Tobit.

That the book was designed to be a book of religious instruction and not a history appears from the following considerations:

(1) There are historical and geographical inaccuracies in the book. It was not Shalmaneser (Enemessar) who made the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun exiles in Assyria, but Tiglath-pileser (734); see 2Ki 15:29. Sennacherib was not the son of Shalmaneser (Tobit 1:15), but of Sargon the Usurper. Moreover, the Tigris does not lie on the way from Nineveh to Ecbatana, as Tobit 6 f imply.

(2) The prominence given to certain Jewish principles and practices makes it clear that the book was written on their account. See Tobit 1:3 ff, Tobit’s integrity, his support of the Jerusalem sanctuary, his almsgiving, etc.: (a) he buries the dead bodies of Jews; (b) he and his wife pray; (c) he teaches Tobias to keep the Law, give alms, etc. Note in particular the teaching of Raphael the angel (Tobit 12:6 ff) and that contained in Tobit’s song of praise (Tobit 13).

(3) The writer has borrowed largely from other sources, Biblical and non-Biblical, and he shows no regard for correctness of facts so long as he succeeds in making the teaching clear and the tale interesting. The legend about the angel who pretended to be an orthodox Jew with a proper Jewish name and pedigree was taken from popular tradition and could hardly have been accepted by the writer as literally true.

For oral and written sources used by the author of Tobit see the next section. A writer whose aim was to give an exact account of things which happened would hardly have gone to so many sources belonging to such different times, nor would he bring into one life events which in the sources belong to many lives (Job, etc.).

5. Some Sources:

The Book of Tobit is dependent upon older sources, oral or written, more than is the case with most books in the Apocrypha. The following is a brief statement of some of these:

(1) The Book of Job.

Besides belonging to the same general class of literature as Job, such as deals with the problem of suffering, Tobit presents us with a man in whose career there are alternations of prosperity and adversity similar to those that meet us in Job. When Anna reproaches her husband for continuing to believe in a religion which fails him at the critical moment (Tobit 2:14), we have probably to see a reflection of the similar incident in Job ("renounce God and die" (Job 2:9)).

(2) The Book of Sirach.

There are so many parallels between Sirach and Tobit that some kind of dependence seems quite clear. Take the following as typical: Both lay stress on the efficacy of alms-giving (Tobit 4:11; 12:9; compare Sirach 3:30; 29:12; 40:24). Both teach the same doctrine of Sheol as the abode of feelingless shades to which the good as well as the bad go (Tobit 3:6,10; 13:2, compare Sirach 46:19; 14:16; 17:28). The importance of interring the dead is insisted upon in both books (Tobit 1:17; 2:3,7; 4:3 f; compare Sirach 7:33; 30:18; 38:16). The same moral duties are emphasized: continued attention to God and the life He enjoins (Tobit 4:5 f, 19; compare Sirach 6:37; 8:8-14; 35:10; 37:2); chastity and the duty of marrying within one’s own people (Tobit 4:12 f; 8:6; compare Sirach 7:26; 36:24); proper treatment of servants (Tobit 4:14; compare Sirach 7:20 f); the sin of covetousness (Tobit 5:18 f; compare Sirach 5); see more fully Speaker’s Apocrypha, I, 161 f.

(3) The Achiqar Legend.

We now know that the story of Ahikar referred to in Tobit 14:10 existed in many forms and among many ancient nations. The substance of the legend is briefly that Achiqar was prime minister in Assyria under Sennacherib. Being childless he adopted a boy Nadan (called "Aman" in 14:10) and spared no expense or pains to establish him well in life. Upon growing up the young man turns out badly and squanders, not only his own money, but that of Achiqar. When rebuked and punished by the latter, he intrigues against his adoptive father and by false letters persuades the king that his minister is a traitor. Achiqar is condemned to death, but the executioner saves the fallen minister’s life and conceals him in a cellar below his (Achiqar’s) house. In a great crisis which unexpectedly arises the king expresses the wish that he had still with him his old and (as he thought) now executed minister. He is delighted to find after all that he is alive, and he loses no time in restoring him to his lost position, handing over to him Nadan for such punishment as he thinks fit.

There can be no doubt that the "Achiacharus" of Tobit (Achiacharos, 1:21 f; 2:10; 11:18; 14:10), a nephew of Tobit, is the Achiqar of the above story. George Hoffmann of Kiel (Auszuge aus syrischen Akten persiacher Martyrer) was the first to connect the Achiqar legend with the Achiacharus of Tobit, though he believed that the story arose in the Middle Ages under the influence of Tobit. Modern scholars, however, agree that the story is of heathen origin and of older date than Tobit. Rendel Harris published a Syriac version of this legend together with an Introduction and translation (Cambridge Press, 1898), but more important are the references to this tale in the papyri found at Elephantine and recently published by Eduard Sachau, Aramaic Papyrus und Ostraka, (1911, 147 ff). This last proves that the tale is as old as 400 BC at least. For lull bibliography on the subject (up to 1909) see Schurer, GJV4, III, 256 ff. See also The Story of Achiqar from the Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Slavonic versions by Conybeare, J. Rendel Harris and A. S. Lewis, 1898, and in particular Histoire et Sagesse d’Achiqar, paragraph Francois Nace, 1909.

(4) The Book of Esther:

The occurrence in Tobit 14:10 of "Aman" for "Nadan" may show dependence upon Esther, in which book Haman, prime minister and favorite of Ahasuerus (Xerxes, 485-464 BC) exhibits treachery comparable with that of Nadan. But Esther seems to the present writer to have been written after and not before Tobit (see Century Bible, "Esther," 299 ff). It is much more likely that a copyist substituted, perhaps unconsciously through mental association, the name Haman for that which stood originally in the text. Marshall (HDB, IV, 789) thinks that the author of Tobit was acquainted with the Book of Jubilees, but he really proves no more than that both have many resemblances. In its angelology and demonology the Book of Jubilees is much more developed and belongs to a later date (about 100 BC; see R.H. Charles, Book of Jubilees, lvi ff, lviii ff). But the two writings have naturally much in common because both were written to express the sentiments of strict Jews living in the 2nd century BC.

6. Date:

This book seems to reflect the Maccabean age, an age in which faithful Jews suffered for their religion. It is probable that Judith and Tobit owe their origin to the same set of circumstances, the persecutions of the Jews by the Syrian party. The book belongs therefore to about 160 BC. The evidence is external and internal.

(1) External.

(a) Tobit 14:4-9 implies the existence of the Book of Jonah and also the completion and recognition of the prophetic Canon (about 200 BC).

(b) Since Sirach is used as a source, that book must have been written, i.e. Tobit belongs to a later date than say 180 BC.

(c) The Christian Father Polycarp in 112 AD quotes from Tobit, but there is no earlier allusion to the book. The external evidence proves no more than that Tobit must have been written after 180 BC and before 112 AD.

(2) Internal.

(a) Tobit 14:5 f seems to show that Jonah was written while the temple of Zerubbabel was in existence, but before this structure had been replaced by the gorgeous temple erected under Herod the Great: i.e. Tobit was written before 25 BC.

(b) The stress laid upon the burial of the dead suits well the period of the Syrian persecution, when we know Antiochus Epiphanes allowed Jewish corpses to lie about unburied.

(c) We have in Tobit and Judith the same zeal for the Jewish Law and its observance which in a special degree marked the Maccabean age. Noldeke and Lohr (Kautzsch, Apok. des Altes Testament, 136) argue for a date about 175 BC, on the ground that in Tobit there is an absence of that fervent zeal for Judaism and that hatred of men and things non-Jewish which one finds in books written during the Maccabean wars. But we know for certain that when the Maccabean enthusiasm was at its height there existed all degrees of fervor among the Jews, and it would be a strange thing if all the literature of the time represented but one phase of the national life.

7. Place of Composition:

We have no means of ascertaining who wrote this book, for the ascription of the authorship to Tobit (1:1 ff) is but a literary device. There are, however, data which help in fixing the nationality of the writer and the country in which he lived. That the author was a Jew is admitted by all, for no other than a Jew could have shown such a deep interest in Jewish things and in the fortunes of the Jewish nation. Moreover, the fact that Tobit, though member of the Northern Kingdom, is represented as worshipping at the Jerusalem temple and observing the feasts there (1:4-7) makes it probable that the author was a member of the Southern Kingdom wishing to glorify the religion of his country.

That he did not live in Palestine is suggested by several considerations:

(1) The book describes the varying fortunes of Jews in exile so completely and with such keen sympathy as to suggest that the writer was himself one of them.

(2) The affectionate language in which he refers to Jerusalem and its religious associations (Tobit 1:4 ff) is such as a member of the Diaspora would use.

(3) The author nowhere reveals a close personal knowledge of Palestine. That Tobit, the ostensible author (1:1), should be set forth as a native of Galilee (1:1 f) is due to the art of the writer.

Assuming that the book was written in a foreign land, opinions differ as to which. The evidence seems to favor either Persia or Egypt. In favor of Persia is the Persian background of the book. Asmodeus (Tobit 3:8,17) is the Pets Aesma daeva. The duty of burying the dead is suggested to the Jewish writer by the Persian (Zoroastrian) habit of exposing dead bodies on the "Tower of Silence" to be eaten by birds. Consanguineous marriages are forbidden in the Pentateuch (see Le 18:6 ff); but they are favored by Tobit 1:9; 3:15; 4:12; 7:4. The latter seems to show that Tobias and Sarah whom he married were first cousins. Marriages between relatives were common among the Iranians and were defended by the magicians as a religious duty. One may say it was allowed in the particular case in question on account of the special circumstances, the fewness of Jews in the parts where the families of Tobit and Raguel lived; compare Nu 36:4 ff for another special case. The fact that a dog is made to accompany Tobias on his journey to Ecbatana (Tobit 5:17; 11:4) favors a Persian origin, but is so repugnant to Semitic ideas that it is omitted from the Hebrew versions of this story (see DOG). For an elaborate defense of a Persian origin of Tobit see J. H. Moulton, The Expository Times, XI, 157 ff; compare H. Maldwyn Hughes, The Ethics of Jewish Apocryphal Literature, 42 ff. The evidence is not decisive; for a knowledge of Iranian modes of thought and expression may be possessed by persons living far away from Iranian territory. And at some points Tobit teaches things contrary to Zoroastrianism. Noldeke and Lohr hold that the book was composed in Egypt, referring to the facts that the demon Asmodeus on being overcome flees to Egypt (8:3) and that there were Jews in Egypt who remained loyal to their ancestral faith and were nevertheless promoted to high places in the state. The knowledge of Mesopotamia shown by the author is so defective (see 4, above) that a Mesopotamian origin for the book cannot be conceived of.

8. Versions:

Tobit exists in an unusually large number of manuscripts and versions showing that the book was widely read and regarded as important. But what is peculiar in the case of this book is that its contents differ largely—and not seldom in quite essential matters—in the various manuscripts, texts and translations (see 3. above).

Tobit has come down to us in the following languages:

(1) Greek.

Manuscripts of the Greek text belong to three classes:

(a) that found in the uncials Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus, BA, (which are almost identical) and most Greek manuscripts; our English and other modern translations are made from this;

(b) that of Codex Sinaiticus which deviates from (a) often in important matters. The old Latin tallies with this very closely;

(c) that of Codices 44, 106 and 107 (adopting the numbers of Holmes and Parsons), which largely coincides with (b).

From 7:10 onward this text forms the basis of the Syriac (Peshitta) version Opinions differ as to which of these three Greek texts is the oldest. Fritzsche, Noldeke and Grimm defend the priority of BA. In favor of this are the following: This text exists in the largest number of manuscripts and translations; it is most frequently quoted by the Fathers and other early writers; it is less diffuse and more spontaneous, showing less editorial manipulation. Ewald, Reusch, Schurer, Nestle and J. Rendel Harris hold that [?] represents the oldest Greek text. Schurer (GJV4, III, 243) gives the principal arguments for this view (compare Fuller, Speaker’s Commentary, I, 168 f) is much fuller than BA. Condensation (compare BA) is much more likely, Fuller and Schurer say, than expansion (Codex Sinaiticus); but this is questioned. In some cases, Codex Sinaiticus preserves an admittedly better text, which is of course true often of the Septuagint and even the minor versions as against the Massoretic Text.

(2) Latin.

(i) The Old Latin based on Codex Sinaiticus found in (i) the editions published in 1751 by Sabbathier (Bib. Sac. Latin versions Antiq.); (ii) in the Book of Tobit (A. Neubauer, 1878). This text exists in at least three recensions. (b) The Vulgate, which simply reproduces Jerome’s careless translation made in a single night; see (3). In Judith and Tobit, the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) is in every respect identical with its translation made by Jerome.

(3) Aramaic (a Term Which Strictly Embraces Syriac).

(a) That from which Jerome’s Jewish help made the Hebrew that formed the basis of Jerome’s Latin version. We have no copy of this (see next section).

(b) That published by Neubauer (Book of Tobit, a Chaldee Text) which was found by him imbedded in a Jewish Midrash of the 15th century.

Neubauer was convinced and tried to prove that this is the version which Jerome’s teacher put into Hebrew and which therefore formed the basis of Jerome’s own version In favor of this is the fact that in Tobit 1-36, and therefore throughout the book, Tobit is spoken of in the third person alike in this Aramaic (Chaldee) version and in Jerome’s Latin translation; whereas in all the other versions (compare chapters 1-36) Tobit speaks in the first person ("I," etc.). But the divergences between this Aramaic and Jerome’s Latin versions are numerous and important, and Neubauer’s explanations are inadequate (op. cit., vi ff). Besides, Dalman (Grammatik des jud.-palest. Aramaic, 1894, 27-29) proves from the language that this version belongs to the 7th century AD or to a later time.

(4) Syriac.

The text of this version was first printed in the London Polyglot (Volume IV) and in a critically revised form in the Lib. Apocrypha. Vet. Test. Syriac of Lagarde. This text consists of parts of two different versions. The Hexaplar text based on the usual manuscripts (Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus etc.) is used from Tobit 1:1-7:9. From 7:10 onward the text corresponds closely with the Greek, [?], and [?] especially in parts, with the manuscripts 44, 106, 107. See fully Schurer, GJV4, 244 ff.

(5) Hebrew.

None of the Hebrew recensions are old. Two Hebrew texts of Tobit have been known since the 16th century, having been printed then and often afterward. Both are to be found in the London Polyglot.

(a) That known as Hebraeus Munsteri (HM), from the fact that it was published at Basel in 1542 by Sebastian Munster, though it had also been printed in 1516 at Constantinople.

(b) That known as Hebraeus Fagii (HF), on account of the fact that Paul Fagius published it in 1542.

It had, however, been previously published, i.e. in Constantinople in 1517. HF introduces Biblical phraseology wherever possible. Since these are comparatively late translations they have but little critical value, and the same statement applies to the two following Hebrew translations discovered, edited and translated by Dr. M. Caster (see PSBA, XVIII, 204 ff, 259 ff; XIX, 27 ff):

(a) A Hebrew manuscript found in the British Museum and designated by him HL. This manuscript agrees with the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) and Aramaic at some points where the other authorities differ, and Dr. Gaster thinks it not unlikely that in HL we have a copy of the original text. He has not been followed by any scholar in this opinion.

(b) Dr. Gaster copied some years ago from a Hebrew Midrash, apparently no longer existing, a condensed Hebrew version (HG) of Tobit. Like HL it agrees often with the Vulgate and Aramaic against other versions and manuscripts.

(6) Ethiopic.

Dillmann has issued the ancient Ethiopic versions in his Biblia Veteris Testamenti Aethiopica, V, 1894.

9. Original Language:

The majority of modern scholars, who have a better knowledge of Sere than the older scholars, hold that the original text of Tobit was Semitic (Aramaic or Hebrew); so Ewald, Hilgenfeld, Graetz, Neubauer, Bickell, Fuller (Speaker’s Apocrypha), Marshall (HDB). In favor of this are the following considerations:

(1) The existence of an Aramaic text in Jerome’s day (see (3), above).

(2) The proper names in the book, male and female, have a Semitic character.

(3) The style of the writer is Semitic rather than Aryan, many of the expressions making bad Greek, but when turned into Semitic yielding good Aramaic or Hebrew.

See the arguments as set out by Fuller (Speaker’s Apocrypha, I, 164 ff). Marshall (HDB, III, 788) gives his reasons for concluding that the original language was Aramaic, not Hebrew, in this opinion following Neubauer (op. cit.). Graetz (Monatsschrift far Geschichte und Wissenschaft der Juden, 1879, 386 ff) gives his grounds for deciding for a Hebrew original. That the book was written in Greek is the view upheld by Fritzsche, Noldeke, W.R. Smith, Schurer and Lbhr. The text of Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus says Lohr, contains Greek of the most idiomatic kind, and gives no suggestion of being a translation.


Much of the best literature has been cited in the course of the preceding article. See also "Literature" in article APOCRYPHA, for text, comms., etc., and the Bible Dicts., Encyclopedia Biblica (W. Erbt) and HDB (J. T. Marshall). Note in addition the following: K. D. Ilgen, Die Geschichte Tobias, nach den drei verschiedenen Originalen, Griechisch, Lateinisch u. Syriac., etc., 1800; Ewald, Gesch.3, IV, 269-74; Graetz, Gesch.2, IV, 466 ff; Noldeke, "Die Texte des Buchs Tobit," Monatsschrift der Berlin Acad., 1879, 45 ff; Bickell, "A Source of the Book of Tobit," Athenaeum, 1890, 700 ff; 1891, 123 ff; I. Abrahams, "Tobit’s Dog," Jewish Quarterly Review, I, 3, 288 E. Cosquin, "Le livre de Tobie et l’histoire du sage Achiqar," Rev. Biblical Int., VIII, 1899, 50-82, 519-31, rejects R. Harris’ views; Margarete Plath, "Zum Buch Tobit," Stud. und Krit., 1901, 377-414; I. Levi, "La langue originale de Tobit," Rev. Juive, XLIV, 1902, 288-91, Oxford Apocrypha, "Tobit" (full bibliography).

T. Witton Davies


to’-ken (tokhen, "task," "measure"; Codex Vaticanus Thokka; Codex Alexandrinus Thochchan): One of the cities of Simeon, mentioned with Rimmen and Ashan (1Ch 4:32). The name does not appear in Joshua’s list (Jos 19:7), but in that place the Septuagint gives Thokka, from which we may infer that the name has fallen out in the Hebrew. It is not identified.


to-gar’-ma (~togharmah]; Thorgama, Thergama, Thurgama, Thurgaba; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Thorgoma):

1. Its Forms: A Suggested Identification:

The 3rd son of Gomer, and grandson of Japheth, his brothers being Ashkenaz and Riphath (Ge 10:3). The meaning of the name is doubtful. Grimm (Gesch. deutsch. Sprache, II, 325) suggests Sanskr. toka, "tribe," and arma = Armenia. Etymological and other difficulties stand in the way of French Delitzsch’s identification of Togarmah with the Assyrian Til-garimmu, "hill of Garimmu," or, possibly, "of the bone-heap," a fortress of Melitene, on the borders of Tabal (Tubal).

2. Probably Armenia or a Tract Connected Therewith:

In Eze 27:14 Togarmah is mentioned after Tubal, Javan and Mesech as supplying horses and mules to the Tyrians, and in 38:6 it is said to have supplied soldiers to the army of Gog (Gyges of Lydia). In the Assyrian inscriptions horses came from Kusu (neighborhoed of Cappadocia), Andia and Mannu, to the North of Assyria. Both Kiepert and Dillmann regard Togarmah as having been Southeastern Armenia, and this is at present the general opinion. The ancient identification of their country with Togarmah by the Armenians, though correct, is probably due to the Septuagint transposition of "g" and "r" (Thorgama for Togarmah), which has caused them to see therein the name of Thorgom, father of Haik, the founder of their race (Moses of Khor, I, 4, secs. 9-11). Eze 27:14 (Swete) alone has "g" before "r": Thaigrama. The name "Armenia" dates from the 5th century BC.


T. G. Pinches






See TOU.


to’-k’-n (’oth, usually rendered "sign" (on De 22:14 ff see the comms.)): "Sign" and "token" are virtually synonymous words and in the King James Version are used with little or no distinction (in Ex 13, compare 13:9 and 16). If there is any difference, "token" is perhaps more concrete and palpable than "sign," but this difference cannot be stressed. The modern use of "token," however, as a "memorial of something past" found in Nu 17:10; Jos 2:12. the Revised Version (British and American) has substituted sign in Ex 13:16; Ps 135:9; Isa 44:25, and the American Standard Revised Version has "evidence" in Job 21:29 (a needlessly prosaic change). The four New Testament examples, Mr 14:44; Php 1:28; 2Th 1:5; 3:17 (each for a different Greek word) are self-explanatory.


Burton Scott Easton





to’-la (tola‘, "worm" or "scarlet stuff"):

(1) One of the four sons of Issachar (Ge 46:13; 1Ch 7:1), mentioned among those who journeyed to Egypt with Jacob (Ge 46:8 f), and in the census taken by Moses and Eleazar, as father of the Tolaites (Nu 26:23) whose descendants in the reign of David included 22,600 "mighty men of valor" (1Ch 7:2).

(2) One of the Judges, the son of Puah, a man of Isaachar. He dwelt in the hill country of Ephraim in the village of Shamir, where after judging Israel 23 years he was buried (Jud 10:1,2). In the order of succession he is placed between Abimelech and Jair. It is interesting to note that both Tola and Puah are names of colors, and that they occur together both in the case of the judge and in that of the sons of Isaachar. They may therefore be looked upon as popular typical or ancestral names of the Issachar tribe, although current critical theories seek an explanation in a confusion of texts.

Ella Davis Isaacs








tol’-ba-nez, tol-ba’-nez (Tolbanes): One of the porters who had taken foreign wives (1 Esdras 9:25) =" Telem" of Ezr 10:24; perhaps identical with the porter Talmon (Ne 12:25).


tol: (1) Aramaic middah, "toll" or "tribute" paid by a vassal nation to its conqueror (Ezr 4:20; 6:8; Ne 5:4); written also mindah (Ezr 4:13; 7:24). More accurately for halakh, "toll," or "way tax" (Ezr 4:13,10; 7:24). In New Testament times the Romans had placed throughout Palestine many toll stations (telonion). Levi the publican was stationed at such a tax office (Mt 9:9; Mr 2:14; Lu 5:27); compare telones, a "tax collector" or "publican." The tax which the Jews paid toward the support of the temple, a didrachma, is called telos, "toll" (Mt 17:25), the same as the word rendered "tribute" (Ro 13:7).

Edward Bagby Pollard








tongz (melqachayim): This word is, where it occurs in the King James Version and the English Revised Version, with two exceptions, changed in the American Standard Revised Version into "snuffers" (Ex 25:38; Nu 4:9; 2Ch 4:21; see SNUFFERS), The exceptions are 1Ki 7:49, "tongs of gold," and Isa 6:6, "taken with the tongs from off the altar."

In Isa 44:12, where another word (ma‘atsadh) is used, "the smith with the tongs" of the King James Version is changed in the Revised Version (British and American) into "the smith maketh an axe" (compare Jer 10:3).

See also ALTAR; TOOLS.


tung: Almost invariably for either lashon, or glossa the latter word with the cognates heteroglossos, "of strange tongues" (1Co 14:21), glossodes, "talkative," English Versions of the Bible "full of tongue" (Sirach 8:3; 9:18), glossotomeo, "to cut out the tongue" (2 Macc 7:4), diglossos, "double-tongued" (Sirach 5:9; 28:13). In 1Ti 3:8, however, "double-tongued" is for dilogos, literally, "two-worded." Where "tongue" in the King James Version translates dialektos (Ac 1:19; 2:8; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14), the Revised Version (British and American) has "language," while for the King James Version "in the Hebrew tongue" in Joh 5:2; Re 9:11; 16:16 (Hebraisti) the Revised Version (British and American) has simply "in Hebrew." In addition, in the Old Testament and Apocrypha, the King James Version uses "to hold one’s tongue" as a translation for various verbs meaning "to be silent"; the Revised Version (British and American) in the Old Testament writes "to hold one’s peace" and in the Apocrypha "to be silent," except in Sirach 32:8, where the King James Version is retained (siopao).

The various uses of "tongue" in English are all possible also for lashon and glossa, whether as the physical organ (Ex 11:7; Mr 7:33, etc.) or as meaning "language" (Ge 10:5; Ac 2:4, etc.) or as describing anything shaped like a tongue (Isa 11:15; Ac 2:3, etc.). In addition, both words, especially lashon appear in a wider range of meanings than can be taken by "tongue" in modern English. So the tongue appears as the specific organ of speech, where we should prefer "mouth" or "lips" (Ex 4:10; Ps 71:24; 78:36; Pr 16:1; Php 2:11, etc.), and hence, "tongue" is used figuratively for the words uttered (Job 6:30; Ps 139:4; 1Joh 3:18, etc.). So the tongue can be said to have moral qualities (Ps 109:2; Pr 15:4, etc.) or to be "glad" (Ac 2:26); to "love with the tongue" (1 Joh 3:18) is to love in word only, and to be "double-tongued" (Sirach 5:9; 28:13; 1Ti 3:8 is to be a liar. A further expansion of this figurative use has produced expressions that sound slightly bizarre in English, although their meaning is clear enough: e.g., "Who have whet their tongue like a sword" (Ps 64:3); "His tongue is as a devouring fire" (Isa 30:27); "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Ps 45:1), and, especially, "Their tongue walketh through the earth" (Ps 73:9).

In Job 20:12, "Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue," the figure is that of an uncultured man rolling a choice morsel around in his mouth so as to extract the utmost flavor. In Ps 10:7; 66:17 (Revised Version margin), however "under the tongue" means "in readiness to utter," while in So 4:11, "Honey and milk are under thy tongue," the pleasure of a caress is described. To "divide their tongue" (Ps 55:9) is to visit on offenders the punishment of Babel.


Burton Scott Easton


(glossai hosei puros): The reference in this topic is to the marvelous gift of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Ac 2:1-13). After His resurrection the Lord bade His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until He should fulfill to them the promise of the Father, and until they should be clothed with power from on high (Lu 24:49). Ac 1:8 repeats the same gracious promise with additional particulars: "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." These were probably the last words our Lord spoke on earth before He ascended to the right hand of God.

1. Supernatural Manifestations:

When the Day of Pentecost was fully come and the disciples, no doubt by previous arrangement and with one accord, were gathered together in one place, the promise was gloriously fulfilled. On that day, the 50th after the Passover, and so the first day of the week, the Lord’s day, the Spirit of God descended upon them in marvelous copiousness and power. The gift of the Spirit was accompanied by extraordinary manifestations or phenomena. These were three and were supernatural. His coming first appealed to the ear. The disciples heard a "sound from heaven," which rushed with mighty force into the house and filled it even as the storm rushes, but there was no wind. It was the sound that filled the house, not a wind. It was an invisible cause producing audible effects. Next, the eye was arrested by the appearance of tongues of fire which rested on each of the gathered company. Our the King James Version "cloven tongues" is somewhat misleading, for it is likely to suggest that each fire-like tongue was cloven or forked, as one sometimes sees in the pictures representing the scene. But this is not at all the meaning of Luke’s expression; rather, tongues parting asunder, tongues distributed among them, each disciple sharing in the gift equally with the others. "Like as of fire," or, more exactly, "as if of fire," indicates the appearance of the tongues, not that they were actually aflame, but that they prefigured the marvelous gift with which the disciples were now endowed.

Finally, there was the impartation to them of a new strange power to speak in languages they had never learned. It was because they were filled with the Holy Spirit that this extraordinary gift was exhibited by them. Not only did the Spirit enable them thus to speak, but even the utterance of words depended on His divine influence—they spake "as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Many attempts have been made by writers on the Ac to explain the phenomenon of Pentecost so as to exclude in whole or in part the supernatural element which Luke unquestionably recognizes. Some try to account for the gift of tongues by saying that it was a new style of speaking, or new forms of expression, or new and elevated thoughts, but this is both unnatural and wholly inconsistent with the narrative where a real difference of language is implied. Others imagine that the miracle was wrought upon the ears of the hearers, each of whom supposed what he heard to be uttered in his mother-tongue. But this view contradicts the distinct statement in Ac 2:4: they "began to speak with other tongues," i.e. the disciples did. It contradicts what the multitude affirmed, namely, "How hear we, every man in our own language, wherein we were born?" (2:8). Furthermore, the view contains an element of falsehood, for in this case the miracle was wrought to make men believe what was not actually the fact. The only reasonable explanation of the phenomena is that which the record bears on its face, and which Luke obviously meant his readers to believe, namely, that the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to speak in the various languages represented by the multitude gathered together at the time.

2. Sinai and Pentecost:

The scenes witnessed at Pentecost were somewhat analogous to the events which occurred at the giving of the Law at Sinai, but the contrast between them is much more pronounced. We are told in Heb 12:18,19 that "tempest," "fire," and "the voice of words" attended the inauguration of the Mosaic dispensation. Something similar was witnessed at Pentecost. But the differences between the two are very marked. At Sinai there were also the blackness and darkness, the quaking earth, the thunderings and lightnings, the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, the terror of the people, and the fear of Moses (Ex 19:16-18; Heb 12:18,19). Nothing of this was seen at Pentecost.

The phenomena characterize the two dispensations. That of Sinai was legal. Its substance was: Do and live; disobey and die. Law knows no mercy, extends no grace. Exact justice is its rule, perfect righteousness its requirement, and death its penalty. No wonder terrible things accompanied its proclamation, and Moses trembled with fear. No wonder it was called "a fiery law" (De 33:2).

3. Qualities Imparted by the Spirit:

With the advent of the Spirit came perfect grace, divine power and complete pardon for the worst of men. At Sinai God spoke in one language. At Pentecost the Spirit through the disciples spoke in many tongues (15 in all are mentioned in Ac 2). The Law was for one people alone; the gospel is for the whole race. The sound that accompanied the outpouring of the Spirit filled all the house and all the disciples likewise—token and pledge of the copiousness, the fullness of the gift. The tongues of flame signified the power of speech, boldness of utterance, and persuasiveness which from henceforth were to mark the testimony of the disciples.

The marvelous capabilities which the witnesses display after Pentecost are most noteworthy. It is common to admire their courage and zeal, to contrast their fearlessness in the presence of enemies and danger with their former timidity and cowardice. It is perhaps not so common to recognize in them the qualities that lie at the foundation of all effective work, that which gives to witness-bearing for Christ its real energy and potency. These qualities are such as: knowledge and wisdom, zeal and prudence, confidence and devotion, boldness and love. skill and tact. These and the like gifts appear in their discourses, in their behavior when difficulties arise and dangers impend, and in their conduct before the angry rulers. It is altogether remarkable with what skill and tact they defend themselves before the Sanhedrin, and with what effectiveness they preach the gospel of the grace of God to the multitude, often a scoffing and hostile multitude. In Peter’s address on the Day of Pentecost there are the marks of the highest art, the most skillful logic, and the most, persuasive argument. Professor Stifler well says of it: "It is without a peer among the products of uninspired men. And yet it is the work of a Galilean fisherman, without culture or training, and his maiden effort." The like distinguished traits are found in Peter’s address recorded in Ac 3, in that to Cornelius and his friends, and in his defense when arraigned by the strict believers at Jerusalem for having gone into the company of men uncircumcised and having eaten with them. No less must be said of the equally wonderful reply of Stephen to the charge brought against him as recorded in Ac 7. It is quite true that Stephen did not share in the effusion of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, so far as we know, but he did share in the gift and power of the Spirit soon after, for we are told that he was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, that he was also full of grace and power. Accordingly, it should be no surprise to read, as the effect of his discourse, that the high priest and all the rest who heard him "were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth" (7:54). Stephen spoke with a tongue of fire.

In the management of the serious complaint made by the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews as to the neglect of their widows in the daily ministration (Ac 6:1), and in their conduct and defense when brought before the council, as they were once and again (Ac 4; 5; 12), they exhibited a wisdom and prudence far enough removed from shrewdness and cunning. The qualities they possessed and displayed are uncommon, are more than human, they are the gift of the Holy Spirit with whom they were baptized on Pentecost. So the Lord Jesus had promised (Mr 13:11; Joh 16:13; Ac 1:8).

4. Distinguished from 1 Corinthians 12; 14:

The tongues of fire which we have been considering appear to have differed in one important aspect from the like gift bestowed on the Corinthians (1Co 12; 14). At Pentecost the disciples spoke in the languages of the various persons who heard them; there needed to be no interpreter, as was provided for at Corinth. Paul distinctly orders that if there be no one to explain or interpret the ecstatic utterance of a speaker, he shall keep silent (1Co 14:28). At Pentecost many spoke at the same time, for the Spirit had perfect control of the entire company and used each as it pleased Him. At Corinth Paul directed that not more than two or at most three should speak in a tongue, and that by course (one at a time). At Pentecost each one of the 15 nationalities there represented by the crowd heard in his own tongue wherein he was born the wonderful works of God. At Corinth no one understood the tongue, not even the speaker himself, for it seems to have been a rhapsody, an uncontrolled ecstatic outburst, and in case there was no one to interpret or explain it, the speaker was to hold his peace and speak to himself and to God, i.e. he must not disturb the worship by giving voice to his ecstasy unless the whole assembly should be edified thereby. Paul sets prophecy, or preaching the word of God, far above this gift of tongues.

It may not be out of place here to say that the so-called "gift of tongues," so loudly proclaimed by certain excitable persons in our day, has nothing in common with the mighty action of the Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost, and hardly anything with that which the Corinthian Christians enjoyed, and which Paul regulated with a master-hand.



Stifler, Introduction to the Book of Acts; Alexander, Commentary on the Acts; Kuyper, Work of the Holy Spirit; Moorehead, Outline Studies in Acts—Ephesians.

William G. Moorehead



1. The Narrative:

According to Ge 11:1-9, at some time not very long after the Flood, "the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed east" (the "they" is left vague) that they settled in the land of Shinar (Babylonia). There they undertook to build "a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven," using the Bah burned brick and "slime" as building materials. The motive was to "make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." This seems to mean that the buildings would give them a reputation for impregnability that would secure them against devastating invasions. "And Yahweh came down to see." And He said, "Nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Come, let us go down, and there confound their language." The persons spoken to are not named (compare Ge 1:26; 3:22), nor is it explained how Yahweh, who in Ge 11:5 was on earth, is now in heaven. "So Yahweh scattered them abroad from thence," and the name of the city was "called Babel (babhel); because Yahweh did there confound (balal) the language of all the earth: and from thence did Yahweh scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."

The purpose of this narrative is the explanation of the diversity of human languages. They originated through an act of Yahweh, in order to destroy the presumptuous designs of the first builders of Babylon.

2. Context:

The section admittedly belongs to J and it has no connection with the matter (mostly P) in Ge 10. For Genesis 10 explains the origin of the nations "every one after his tongue, after their families" (10:5,20,31) as due to the orderly migration and gradual spreading of the sons and descendants of Noah, and names Nimrod (10:10) as the sole founder of Babylon. Nor does 11:1-9 logically continue the J matter in Genesis 9, as too many persons are involved for the time immediately following the Flood. Still, it is quite possible that some J matter was dropped when the J and P sources were united at this point. Another possibility is to see in Ge 11:1-9 the continuation of Ge 4:16-24, which it carries on smoothly, with the same distrust of human culture. The murderer Cain went to the East of Eden (4:16), and his descendants brought in the knowledge of the various arts (4:20-22). These descendants journeyed still farther to the East (11:2), attempted to use their skill in building the tower and were punished by the balal catastrophe. No account of the Deluge could have followed, for all the diversities of languages would have been wiped away by that event.

This assumption of a special, early source within J probably best explains the facts. It is indicated by the very primitive, naive theology, which is much less developed than that of J as a whole. And the obscure relation of Ge 11:1-9 to the Flood narrative is accounted for, for two narratives were combined here, one of which contained an account of the Deluge, while the other did not.

3. Homogeneity:

By using the repeated "going down" of verses 5,7 as a clue, the section can be resolved fairly easily into two narratives, e.g.

(1) The men build a tower, "whose top may reach unto heaven," in order to make a name for themselves as marvelous builders. Yahweh, seeing the work beginning and "lest nothing be withholden from them," etc., goes down and confounds their language.

(2) The men build a city, as a defensive measure, "lest we be scattered abroad on the face of the whole earth." Yahweh goes down to see and scatters them abroad. For other analyses see the commentaries.

But they are hardly imperative. For (2) gives no motive for Yahweh’s action, while "city" and "tower," "confusion of tongues" and "scattering," are complementary rather than parallel terms. The supposition that a few words describing Yahweh’s return to heaven have disappeared somewhere from verse 6 relieves the awkwardness.

4. Historicity:

The "historicity" of the narrative will be upheld by very few persons of the present day. Human languages began to diverge (if, indeed there ever was such a thing as a primitive language) tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years before the building of Babylon and long before human beings had attained enough skill to erect the most rudimentary structures, let alone such an elaborate affair as the brick-built city and tower of Babel. And what is true of languages as a whole is equally true of the languages spoken in the vicinity of Palestine. If Egyptian Hittite, and the Semitic group have any common point of origin, it lies vastly back of the time and cultural conditions presupposed in Ge 11:1-9. It is needless to enlarge on this, but for the harm done by a persistent clinging to the letter of the narrative, White’s History of the Warfare of Science with Theology may be consulted. It belonged to the genius of the Hebrews to seek religious explanations of the things around them. And such an explanation of the origin of languages is the content of Ge 11:1-9.

5. Sources:

This explanation seems, as yet, to be without parallel, for the translation of the fragmentary British Museum Inscription K 3657 is entirely uncertain. Indeed, legends as to how the differences of human speech began seem to be extremely scanty everywhere, as if the question were not one that occupied the minds of primitive people. Comparative folklore still has much work to do as regards this special topic (for a few references see Encyclopedia Brit, 11th edition, article "Babel" and Gunkel Genesis3 in the place cited.). The other features of the narrative, however, are without great significance. Buildings that were unfinished because the builders offended the gods are fairly abundant, and it is quite possible that the writer of Ge 11:1-9 had some particular Bah structure in mind (see BABEL, TOWER OF). Nor are attempts of men to climb into heaven difficult to conceive, when the sky is thought of (as it nearly always was until comparatively modern times) as a material dome. So Greek Baruch (3:6 f) specifies that they "built the tower to the height of 463 cubits. And they took a gimlet, and sought to pierce the heaven, saying, Let us see whether the heaven is made of clay, or of brass, or of iron." Closely parallel to the Babel story is the Greek legend of the giants, who piled Pelion on Ossa in their attempt to storm the dwelling of the gods, and, as a matter of fact, the two accounts seem to be combined in Sib Or 3:97-104.

Whether aided by a tradition about some particular Babylonian tower or not, the localization of the story in Babylonia was inevitable. The Babylonians, above all nations in the world, relied on their wisdom and their skill, and so nowhere but in Babylon would this supreme presumption have been possible. Babylon, the embodiment of pride, at the very beginning of her existence was guilty of an act of pride so overwhelming as to call out God’s vengeance. The "folk-etymology" babhel-balal (in Aramaic babhel-balbel) may have been suggested by this story or (perhaps more probably) it may have originated separately, perhaps at first as a piece of deliberate irony. Certainly the many languages that could be heard in Babylon were not without significance for the story.

6. Religious Value:

The religious value of the story is dimmed for the modern reader because of the very primitive concepts that it contains. The men are able to build up into heaven. In order to see what they are doing Yahweh is obliged to "come down." He is obliged to take action lest His dwelling-place be invaded (compare Ge 3:22). And the "let us go down" of Ge 11:7, while certainly not polytheistic, is equally certainly a polytheistic "remnant." On the other hand, it is to be noted that God’s power is never in question and that there is no desperate and uncertain battle as in the Greek legend. Important, also (and often overlooked), is the realization that God’s power is just as active in Babylon as it is in Palestine. The primal meaning to the Israelite, however, was this: In Babylon was seen the greatest enemy of the people of God, possessing immeasurable resources. Humanly speaking, there were no limits to this power, and if it had been uncontrolled at the beginning, all the world would have been overwhelmed with the rule of evil. This God had prevented.


Driver in HDB; Cheyne (art. "Babel, Tower of") in EB; the commentaries. on Gen, especially those of Skinner, Driver, Procksch, and Gunkel.

Burton Scott Easton


1. Basic Character of 1 Corinthians 14:

A spiritual gift mentioned in Ac 10:44-46; 11:15; 19:6; Mr 16:17, and described in Ac 2:1-13 and at length in 1Co 12-14, especially chapter 14. In fact, 1Co 14 contains such a full and clear account that this passage is basic. The speaker in a tongue addressed God (14:2,28) in prayer (14:14), principally in the prayer of thanksgiving (14:15-17). The words so uttered were incomprehensible to the congregation (14:2,5,9, etc.), and even to the speaker himself (14:14). Edification, indeed, was gained by the speaker (14:4), but this was the edification of emotional experience only (14:14). The words were spoken "in the spirit" (14:2); i.e. the ordinary faculties were suspended and the divine, specifically Christian, element in the man took control, so that a condition of ecstasy was produced. This immediate (mystical) contact with the divine enabled the utterance of "mysteries" (14:2)—things hidden from the ordinary human understanding (see MYSTERY). In order to make the utterances comprehensible to the congregation, the services of an "interpreter" were needed. Such a man was one who had received from God a special gift as extraordinary as the gifts of miracles, healings, or the tongues themselves (12:10,30); i.e. the ability to interpret did not rest at all on natural knowledge, and acquisition of it might be given in answer to prayer (14:13). Those who had this gift were known, and Paul allowed the public exercise of "tongues" only when one of the interpreters was present (14:28). As the presence of an interpreter was determined before anyone spoke, and as there was to be only one interpreter for the "two or three" speakers (14:28), any interpreter must have been competent to explain any tongue. But different interpreters did not always agree (14:26), whence the limitation to one.

2. Foreign Languages Barred Out:

These characteristics of an interpreter make it clear that "speaking in a tongue" at Corinth was not normally felt to be speaking in a foreign language. In 1Co 14:10 English Versions of the Bible are misleading with "there are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world," which suggests that Paul is referring directly to the tongues. But tosauta there should be rendered "very many," "ever so many," and the verse is as purely illustrative as is 14:7. Hence, foreign languages are to be barred out. (Still, this need not mean that foreign phrases may not occasionally have been employed by the speakers, or that at times individuals may not have made elaborate use of foreign languages. But such cases were not normative at Corinth.) Consequently, if "tongues" means "languages," entirely new languages must be thought of. Such might have been of many kinds (12:28), have been regarded as a fit creation for the conveyance of new truths, and may even at times have been thought to be celestial languages—the "tongues of angels" (13:1). On the other hand, the word for "tongue" (glossa) is of fairly common use in Greek to designate obsolete or incomprehensible words, and, specifically, for the obscure phrases uttered by an oracle. This use is closely parallel to the use in Corinth and may be its source, although then it would be more natural if the "ten thousand words in a tongue" of 14:19 had read "ten thousand glossai." In no case, however, can "tongue" mean simply the physical organ, for 14:18,19 speaks of articulated words and uses the plural "tongues" for a single speaker (compare 14:5,6).

3. A State of Ecstasy:

A complete explanation of the tongues is given by the phenomena of ecstatic utterances, especially when taken in connection with the history of New Testament times. In ecstasy the soul feels itself so suffused with the divine that the man is drawn above all natural modes of perception (the understanding becomes "unfruitful"), and the religious nature alone is felt to be active. Utterances at such times naturally become altogether abnormal. If the words remain coherent, the speaker may profess to be uttering revelations, or to be the mere organ of the divine voice. Very frequently, however, what is said is quite incomprehensible, although the speaker seems to be endeavoring to convey something. In a still more extreme case the voice will be inarticulate, uttering only groans or outcries. At the termination of the experience the subject is generally unconscious of all that has transpired.

For the state, compare Philo, Quis rerum. divin., li-liii.249-66: "The best (ecstasy) of all is a divinely-infused rapture and ‘mania,’ to which the race of the prophets is subject. .... The wise man is a sounding instrument of God’s voice, being struck and played upon invisibly by Him. .... As long as our mind still shines (is active) .... we are not possessed (by God) .... but .... when the divine light shines, the human light sets. .... The prophet .... is passive, and another (God) makes use of his vocal organs." Compare, further, the descriptions of Celsus (Origen, Contra Celsus, vii.9), who describes the Christian "prophets" of his day as preaching as if God or Christ were speaking through them, closing their words with "strange, fanatical, and quite unintelligible words of which no rational person can find the meaning." The Greek papyri furnish us with an abundance of magical formulas couched in unintelligible terms (e.g. Pap. Lond., 121, "Iao, eloai, marmarachada, menepho, mermai, ieor, aeio, erephie, pherephio," etc.), which are not infrequently connected with an ecstatic state (e.g. Reitzenstein, Poimandres, 53-58).

Interpretation of the utterances in such a state would always be difficult and diversities of interpretation would be unavoidable. Still, with a fixed content, such as the Christian religion gave, and with the aid of gestures, etc., men who felt that they had an understanding of such conditions could undertake to explain them to the congregation. It is to be noted, however, that Paul apparently does not feel that the gift of interpretation is much to be relied on, for otherwise he would have appraised the utility of tongues more highly than he does. But the popularity of tongues in Corinth is easily understood. The speaker was felt to be taken into the closest of unions with God and hence, to be an especial object of God’s favor. Indeed, the occurrence of the phenomenon in a neo-convert was irrefragable proof that the conversion was approved by God (Ac 10:44-48; 11:15; 19:6). So in Mr 16:17 the gift is treated as an exceptional and miraculous divine blessing (in this verse "new" is textually uncertain, and the meaning of the word, if read, is uncertain also). Moreover, for the more selfish, the gift was very showy (1Co 13:1 suggests that it was vociferous), and its possession gratified any desire for personal prominence.

4. The Account in Ac 2:

The account in Ac 2 differs from that of 1Co 14 in making the tongues foreign languages, although the ability to use such languages is not said to have become a permanent apostolic endowment. (Nor is it said that the speech of Ac 2:14-36 was delivered in more than one language.) When the descent of the Spirit occurred, those who were assembled together were seized with ecstasy and uttered praises to God. A crowd gathered and various persons recognized words and phrases in their own tongues; nothing more than this is said. That the occasion was one where a miracle would have had unusual evidential value is evident, and those who see a pure miracle in the account have ample justification for their position. But no more than a providential control of natural forces need be postulated, for similar phenomena are abundantly evidenced in the history of religious experience. At times of intense emotional stress the memory acquires abnormal power, and persons may repeat words and even long passages in a foreign language, although they may have heard them only once. Now the situation at Jerusalem at the time of the Feast gave exactly the conditions needed, for then there were gathered pilgrims from all countries, who recited in public liturgical passages (especially the Shemoneh ‘Esreh) in their own languages. These, in part, the apostles and the "brethren" simply reproduced. Incomprehensible words and phrases may well have been included also (Ac 2:13), but for the dignity of the apostles and for the importance of Pentecost Luke naturally cared to emphasize only the more unusual side and that with the greatest evidential value. It is urged, to be sure, that this interpretation contradicts the account in 1Co 14. But it does so only on the assumption that the tongues were always uniform in their manifestation and appraisement everywhere—and the statement of this assumption is its own refutation. If the modern history of ecstatic utterances has any bearing on the Apostolic age, the speaking in foreign languages could not have been limited only to Pentecost. (That, however, it was as common as the speaking in new "languages" would be altogether unlikely.) But both varieties Luke may well have known in his own experience.

5. Religious Emotionalism:

Paul’s treatment of the tongues in 1Co 12-14 is a classical passage for the evaluation of religious emotionalism. Tongues are a divine gift, the exercise is not to be forbidden (14:39), and Paul himself is grateful that he has the gift in an uncommon degree (14:18). Indeed, to those who treat them simply with scorn they become a "sign" that hardening is taking place (14:21-23). Yet a love of them because they are showy is simply childish (14:20; 13:11), and the possessor of the gift is not to think that he has the only thing worth obtaining (1Co 12). The only gift that is utterly indispensable is love (1Co 13), and without it tongues are mere noise (13:1). The public evidential value of tongues, on which perhaps the Corinthians were inclined to lay stress, Paul rates very low (14:21-23). Indeed, when exercised in public they tend to promote only the self-glorification of the speaker (14:4), and so are forbidden when there is not an interpreter, and they are limited for public use at all times (14:27,28). But the ideal place for their exercise is in private: "Let him speak to himself, and to God" (14:28). The applicability of all this to modern conditions needs no commentary. Ultra-emotionalistic outbreaks still cause the formation of eccentric sects among us, and every evangelist knows well-meaning but slightly weak individuals who make themselves a nuisance. On the other hand, a purely intellectual and ethical religion is rather a dreary thing. A man who has never allowed his religious emotions to carry him away may well be in a high state of grace—but he has missed something, and something of very great value.



Plumptre in DB is still useful. Wright, Some New Testament Problems (1898), and Walker, The Gift of Tongues and Other Essays (1906), have collections of material. Of the commentaries on 1 Corinthians those of Heinrici (latest edition, 1896), Lietzmann (1907) and J. Weiss (1910) are much the best, far surpassing Robertson and Plummer in ICC (1911). For the Greek material, see ... in the index of Rhode’s Psyche. Gunkel, Die Wirkungen des heiligen Geistes (1888, 2nd reprint in 1909), was epoch-making. For the later period, see Weinel, Die Wirkungen des Gelstes und der Geister (1899); Lake, The Earlier Epistles of Paul (London, 1911); and see Inge in The Quarterly Review (London, 1914).

Burton Scott Easton





toolz: In the Bible, references to the handicrafts are almost entirely incidental, and not many tools are named. The following article aims to give a list of those mentioned, together with those that must have existed also. For detailed description and the Hebrew and Greek terms employed, see the separate articles.

(1) The percussion tool was the hammer, used for splitting or trimming stone, beating metals, and in wood-carving, as well as for driving nails, tent pins, etc. Several words are translated "hammer," but the distinction between them is very vague and in some cases the propriety of the translation is dubious. Certainly no such distinction is made as that between "hammer" and "mallet," nor were separate names given to the different hammers used in the various crafts (compare, e.g., Jud 4:21; 1Ki 6:7; Isa 44:12; Jer 10:4—all for maqqabhah).


(2) Of cutting tools, the simplest was of course the knife. In Ex 20:25, however, the knife ("sword," English Versions of the Bible "tool") appears as a stone-cutter’s implement and is without doubt a chisel. But the hatchet of Ps 74:6 may be a knife.


For ax, again, various words are employed in a way that is quite obscure to us and apparently with meanings that are not fixed. So garzen in De 20:19 is certainly an ax, but in the Siloam Inscription (ll 2,4) it is a pickax (see MATTOCK). The various words translated "ax" (the Revised Version (British and American) "axe") must also somewhere include the word for adz, but the specific term, if there were any such (ma’atsadh(?)), is unknown. But the adz is a very ancient tool and must certainly have existed in Palestine.


The saw was used both for wood and for stone (1Ki 7:9), in the latter case being employed in connection with water and sand. But sawing stone was a very laborious process, and this was one reason why the ancients preferred stone in large blocks. These were quarried by the use of heavy hammers and wedges.

See SAW.

The plane (maqtso‘ah) of Isa 44:13 should be translated chisel. Chisels, of course, are almost as old as humanity, and were used on both wood and stone and doubtless also on metals. In particular, with a broad chisel and an adz the surface of wood may be finished very smoothly, and these two implements took the place of the plane. For wood-carving the concave chisel (gouge) may have been invented.

The pencil of Isa 44:13 is probably a stylus, for engraving as well as for marking out lines. For engraving on gems (Ex 28:9, etc.) particularly delicate instruments of this kind must have been used.


(3) Among the boring tools, only the awl appears (Ex 21:6; De 15:17), an instrument primarily for the use of workers in leather. Holes in wood or stone were made by a drill, often worked with the aid of a drawn bow, through the string of which the drill was passed.

See AWL.

(4) Blunted tools were of course sharpened on stones, as everywhere. In 1Sa 13:21 English Versions of the Bible speaks of sharpening with a file, but the text of the verse is hopelessly corrupt and the translation mere guesswork. But files of some sort (stone?) must of course have been used by metal-workers.


(5) Measuring tools were the line and the rod (see REED), and the latter must also have been used as a straight-edge. The compasses of Isa 44:13 were for drawing circles, but doubtless served for measuring also. See COMPASSES. Plumb-line (’anakh in Am 7:7 f, a symbol of the searching moral investigation which would be followed by a precise and exact judgment; compare mishkoleth, "plummet," 2Ki 21:13; Isa 28:17) and plummet (’ebhen bedhil, "a stone of tin," Zec 4:10, used by Zerubbabel in testing the completed walls) were likewise necessities and had existed from a very early period. Tools of some sort must have been used in addition by builders in drawing plans, but their nature is unknown.


(6) The tools for holding and handling work (vises, tongs, pincers, etc.) are never alluded to (the King James Version in Isa 44:12 is wrong; see TONGS). For moving larger objects no use was made of cranes, and lifting was done by the aid of inclined planes and rollers; but blocks of stone weighing hundreds of tons could be handled in this way.

The material of the Hebrew tools was either iron or bronze. The former was introduced at least by the time of David (2Sa 12:31), but the mention of iron as a material is often made in such a way (Am 1:3, etc.) as to show that it was not to be taken for granted. In fact, iron was hard to work and expensive, and bronze probably persisted for a while as a cheaper material. Stone tools would be used only by the very poor or as occasional makeshifts or for sacred purposes (Jos 5:2).

For the agricultural tools see AGRICULTURE.


Burton Scott Easton


to’-par-ki, top’-ar-ki (toparchia): the King James Version renders this Greek word by "government" in 1 Macc 11:28 (the King James Version margin and the Revised Version (British and American) "province"). It denotes a small administrative district corresponding to the modern Turkish Nahieh, administered by a Mudir. Three such districts were detached from the country of Samaria and added to Judea. Elsewhere (1 Macc 10:30; 11:34) the word used to describe them is nomos. Some idea of the size of these districts may be gathered from the fact that Judea was divided into ten (Pliny v.14) or eleven (BJ, III, iii, 5) toparchies.





to’-fel (tophel; Tophol): This name is found in a passage with many difficulties (De 1:1). The verse ostensibly makes clearer the position occupied by the camp of Israel where Moses addressed the people, by reference to certain other places which might be presumed to be better known. Not one of them, however, has been satisfactorily identified. Some think Tophel may be represented by the modern et-tafeleh, 15 miles Southeast of the Dead Sea, on the caravan road from Petra to Kerak. Apart from the question of position, the change of "t" to "T" is not easily explained. Meantime we must suspend judgment.

W. Ewing


to’-feth (ha-topheth, etymology uncertain; the most probable is its connection with a root meaning "burning"—the "place of burning"; the King James Version, Tophet, except in 2Ki 23:10): The references are to such a place: "They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire" (Jer 7:31). On account of this abomination Topheth and the Valley of Hinnom should be called "The valley of Slaughter: for they shall bury in Topheth, till there be no place to bury," the Revised Version margin "because there shall be no place else" (Jer 7:32); see also Jer 19:6,12,13,14. Josiah is said to have "defiled Topheth" as part of his great religious reforms (2Ki 23:10). The site of this shameful place would seem to have been either at the lower end of the Valley of Hinnom (see HINNOM, VALLEY OF), near where Akeldama is now pointed out, or in the open ground where this valley joins the Kidron.

E. W. G. Masterman





torch (lappidh; lampas; in the King James Version this word occurs only 4 times (Na 2:3,4 (Hebrew 4,5); Zec 12:6; Joh 18:3). In the Revised Version (British and American) it is found 10 times (Ge 15:17; Jud 7:16,20; Job 41:19 (Hebrew 11); Eze 1:13; Da 10:6; Na 2:4 (Hebrew 5); Zec 12:6; Joh 18:3; Re 8:10)): A flambeau; a large portable light.



tor’-ma (tormah, "fraud"; Codex Vaticanus en kruphe, "in secret," Codex Alexandrinus meta doron, "with gifts"): This name is given in EVm as an alternative to "privily" , or "craftily" the Revised Version (British and American) (Jud 9:31). There is no knowledge of such a place. The text is corrupt.


tor’-ment: A literal translation in Lu 16:28 of topos tes basanou.



tor-men’-ter: the King James Version 2 Macc 7:29 for demios "belonging to the people," and so "public executioner," the Revised Version (British and American) "butcher." A term of utter contempt, whose force is lost in the King James Version. Also Mt 18:34 for basanistes, "torturer." Normally the bankrupt debtor was sold into slavery. But, apparently, in extreme cases (where concealment of assets was suspected?) the defaulter was sent to prison until restitution should be made. Probably the imprisonment itself was regarded as "torment" (as it doubtless was), and the "tormentors" need mean nothing more than jailers.

Burton Scott Easton


tor’-tus, tor’-tis, tor’-tois. (the King James Version) (tsabh, the Revised Version (British and American) "great lizard"; compare the Arabic word, dabb, the thorny-tailed lizard): The word tsabh occurs as the name of an animal only in Le 11:29, being the third in the list of unclean "creeping things."

The same word is found in Isa 66:20, translated "litters," and in Nu 7:3, where ‘eghloth tsabh is translated "covered wagons." Gesenius derives the word, in all senses, from the root cabhabh, "to move gently," "to flow"; compare Arabic dabba, "to flow." The Arabic noun dabb is Uromastix spinipes, the Arabian thorny-tailed lizard. This lizard is about 18 inches long, its relatively smooth body being terminated with a great tail armed with rings of spiny scales. The Arabs have a familiar proverb, ‘a‘kad min dhanab ud-dabb, "knottier than the tail of the dabb." The Septuagint has for tsabh in Le 11:29 ho krokodeilos ho chersaios, the English equivalent of which, "land-crocodile," is used by the Revised Version (British and American) for the fifth in the list of unclean "creeping things," koach, the King James Version "chameleon."

The writer does not know what can have led the translators of the King James Version to use here the word "tortoise." Assuming that the thorny-tailed lizard is meant, the "great lizard" of the Revised Version (British and American) may be considered to be a fair translation.


Alfred Ely Day


to’-tem-iz’-m: How far the belief in totems and totemistic relationships existed in early Israel cannot be discussed at length here. Evidence of the belief in deified animal ancestors is supposed by some writers to be found in the tribal names Leah ("wild cow"?), Rachel ("ewe"), Simeon (synonymous with the Arabic sim‘u, which denotes a cross between a wolf and a hyena), Hamor ("ass"), Caleb ("dog"), Zibiah ("gazelle"), etc. But these names in themselves "do not prove a totem stage in the development of Israel" (HPN, 114); philologically, the view has a shaky foundation (see, e.g. article "Leah" in 1-vol HDB).

Again, it is true that, as a rule, in totemic communities the individual may not kill or eat the name-giving object of his kin, these animals being regarded as sacred in totem worship and therefore "unclean" (taboo) as food. But the attempt to connect such personal names as Shaphan ("rock-badger"), Achbor ("mouse"), Huldah ("weasel")—all from the time of Josiah (2Ki 22:3,12,14; compare Deborah ("bee"), Gaal ("beetle"?), Told ("crimson worm," "cochineal"), Nabash ("serpent"))—with the list of unclean animals in Le 11 (see 11:5 (margin), 29) and De 14 is beset with difficulties (compare, however, Isa 66:17; Eze 8:10 f), since all the names cannot possibly be explained on this ground.

See also SACRIFICE, II, 2, (4); VI, 1.

Robertson Smith (followed by Stade and Benzinger) strongly advocated the view "that clear traces of totemism can be found in early Israel" (see HDB, III, 100). G. B. Gray also seems inclined to favor the view that some of these names may be "indirectly derivative from a totem stage of society" (HDB, III, 483 f), while at the same time he recognizes that "the only question is whether other explanations are not equally satisfactory" (HPN, 105).

Other writers, such as Wellhausen, Noldeke (ZDMG, 157 f, 1886), Marti (Gesch. der israelit. Religion, 4th edition, 24), Addis (Hebrew Rel., 33 f), have opposed or abandoned theory as applied to Israel.

"Upon the whole we must conclude once more that, while it is certainly possible that Totemism once prevailed in Israel, its prevalence cannot be proved; and, above all, we must hold that the religion of Israel as it presents itself in the Old Testament has not retained the very slightest recollection of such a state of things" (Kautzsch, HDB, extra vol, 614 f; compare p. 623).

The theory is also opposed by Job. Jacobs (article "Are there Totem-Clans in the Old Testament?" in Archaeol. Review, III (1889), number 3, 145 ff); F.V. Zapletal, Der Totemismus u. die Religion Israels; and S. A. Cook, in JQR, XIV, number 55.

The evidence on either side is inconclusive, but the weight of authority is opposed to the view that totemism ever existed in Israel. What is certain is that totemism was never a potent factor, either in the early religion of Israel as an organized people, or in any of the dominant cults of the historical period as a whole (see articles "Family" in HDB, I, 850 (Bennett); "Sacrifice," HDB, IV, 331 (Paterson], and DEFILEMENT (Crannell), IMAGES, 3, 6 (Cobern), and ISRAEL, RELIGION OF, II, 1, (4) (Orelli), in this Encyclopedia).


In addition to the works cited in the text, see, for theory of the prevalence of totemism in early Israel, W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites (2nd edition, 1894), Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia (1903); A. F. Scot, Offering and Sacrifice (1900); and I. Benzinger, Hebraische Archaol. (1907); against, Eric Brit, 11th edition, XIII, 177, article "Hebrew Religion" (Whitehouse); Standard BD, 782; Temple DB, article "Shaphan." For a general account and discussion of totemism, see Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy (1910) and The Golden Bough (3rd edition, 1907-13); Westermarck, History of Human Marriage (1891); Deans, Tales from the Totems of Hidery (1898); Lang, Myth, Ritual, Religion (new edition, 1899), The Secret of the Totem (1905), and article "Totemism" in Encyclopedia Brit, 11th edition, XXVII, with extensive bibliography; HDB, extra vol, 115; and Cymru, 1892-93, p. 137; 1893-94, p. 7.

M. O. Evans


to’-oo (to‘u; Codex Vaticanus Thoa; Codex Alexandrinus Thoou): King of Hamath. As an enemy of Hadarezer, after David’s victory over the latter, he sent David a message of congratulation (1Ch 18:9 f). In 2Sa 8:9 f spelled "Toi."


to (ne‘oreth (Jud 16:9; Isa 1:31)): The coarser part of flax, with short threads, used as an example of easily inflammable material. Also Isa 43:17 the King James Version for pishtah, the usual word for "flax" (so the English Revised Version), here as used for a wick (so the American Standard Revised Version, the English Revised Version margin).







(So 4:4).







(mighdal hashen): Occurs only in So 7:4. Cheyne would, not unreasonably, emend the text and read the "tower of Shenir" as a parallel to the "tower of Lebanon" in the same verse. If the reading "tower of ivory" is correct, the reference must be to some piece of furniture in the adornment of which ivory was much used, and when we compare the word mighdal here with its use for a "pulpit" in Ne 8:4, we can think only of a reminiscence of something of the nature of the throne of ivory made by Solomon (1Ki 10:18).

W. M. Christie


(mighdal ha-lebhanon): (So 7:4)): The designation "which looketh toward Damascus" compels us to identify it with some portion of, or something in, the eastern range of "Lebanon, toward the sun-rising" (Jos 13:5). It would then of necessity correspond to the chief summit of Hermon, on which there has been from ancient times also a tower-like temple, and from which the view is almost of boundless extent, Damascus with its gardens and groves being surprisingly near and appearing like a beautiful island in a wide extended sea.


W. M. Christie







(mighdal shekhem): Mentioned only in Jud 9:46-49. It seems along with the Beth-millo and the Beth-el-berith to have comprised the three strongest parts of the fortification when Abimelech besieged the town. It was, however, abandoned by its defenders, who took refuge in the Beth-millo, in which they were slain.









toun: This word is used to represent a number of different Hob terms in the Old Testament.

(1) When any explanatory word or attendant circumstances show that a "city" was unwalled, and sometimes in the contrary case (1Sa 23:7), the Hebrew ‘ir is translated "town" by the King James Version, and the Revised Version (British and American) generally agrees with it (De 3:5; 1Sa 27:5; Es 9:19).

(2) Both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) translate chawwoth by "towns" (Nu 32:41; Jos 13:30; 1Ki 4:13; 1Ch 2:23), while chatserim and perazoth both appear in the King James Version as "towns," but in the Revised Version (British and American) as "villages" (Ge 25:16; Zec 2:4). See HAVVOTH-JAIR.

(3) Bath, literally, "daughter," is sometimes found in the plural between the name of a city and chatserim, "villages," as in Jos 15:45 margin, "Ekron, with its daughters and its villages." "Towns" is evidently the appropriate translation, and, even without chatserim, bath is rendered "town" (the Revised Version (British and American) Nu 21:25, etc.). The same use of "daughter" occurs also in the Greek of 1 Macc 5:65 (thugater), the King James Version "town," the Revised Version (British and American) "village," margin "daughter."

(4) the King James Version and the English Revised Version gloss qir, "wall" in Jos 2:15 by rendering it "town wall"; the American Standard Revised Version omits.

(5) The Greek term komopoleis (Mr 1:38), being a combination of the words for "village" and "city," is a clear attempt to describe something between the two, and is well translated "town." (6) the King James Version uses "town" (Mt 10:11 etc.) and "village" (Mt 9:35, etc.) quite indifferently for kome; the Revised Version (British and American) has "village" throughout. For similar changes of the King James Version "town" compare 2 Macc 8:6 (chora); 11:5; 12:21 (chorion, the Revised Version (British and American) "place").


W. M. Christie


klurk, klark (grammateus): The word "clerk," "writer," "town clerk," "scribe," is found in this meaning only in Ac 19:35, "when the townclerk had quieted the multitude." Cremer defines the word as signifying a "public servant among the Greeks and the reader of the legal and state-papers" (Lexicon of the New Testament). There was considerable difference between the authority of these "clerks" in the cities of Asia Minor and of Greece. Among the Greeks the grammateis were usually slaves, or at least persons belonging to the lower classes of society, and their office was a nominal, almost a mechanical, one. In Asia, on the contrary, they were officers of considerable consequence, as the passage quoted indicates (Thucidydes vii.19, "the scribe of the city") and the grammateus is not infrequently mentioned in the inscriptions and on the coins of Ephesus (e.g. British Museum Inscriptions, III, 2, 482, 528). They had the supervision of the city archives, all official decrees were drawn up by them, and it was their prerogative to read such decrees to the assembled citizens. Their social position was thus one of eminence, and a Greek scribe would have been much amazed at the deference shown to his colleagues in Asia and at the power they wielded in the administration of affairs. See, further, Hermann, Staats Altertum, 127, 20; and EPHESUS.

Henry E. Dosker


trak-o-ni’-tis: Appears in Scripture only in the phrase tes Itouraias kai Trachbnitidos choras, literally, "of the Iturean and Trachonian region" (Lu 3:1). Trachonitis signifies the land associated with the trachon, "a rugged stony tract." There are two volcanic districts South and East of Damascus, to which the Greeks applied this name: that to the Northwest of the mountain of Bashan (Jebel ed-Druze) is now called el-Leja’," the refuge" or "asylum." It lies in the midst of an arable and pastoral country; and although it could never have supported a large population, it has probably always been inhabited. The other is away to the Northeast of the mountain, and is called in Arabic es-Safa. This covers much the larger area. It is a wild and inhospitable desert tract, remote from the dwellings of men. It was well known to the ancients; but there was nothing to attract even a sparse population to its dark and forbidding rocks, burning under the suns of the wilderness. It therefore plays no part in the history. These are the two Trachons of Strabo (xvi.2, 20). They are entirely volcanic in origin, consisting of lava belched forth by volcanoes that have been extinct for ages. In cooling, the lava has split up and crumbled into the most weird and fantastic forms. The average elevation of these districts above the surrounding country is about 30 ft. Es-Safa is quite waterless. There are springs around the border of el-Leja’, but in the interior, water-supply depends entirely upon cisterns. Certain great hollows in the rocks also form natural reservoirs, in which the rain water is preserved through the summer months.

El-Leja’ is roughly triangular in shape, with its apex to the North. The sides are about 25 miles in length, and the base about 20. The present writer has described this region as he saw it during two somewhat lengthened visits: From Zor‘a our course lay Northeast by East .... What a wild solitude it is! Far on every hand stretched a veritable land of stone. The first hour or two of our march no living thing was seen. .... Wherever we looked, before or behind, lay wide fields of volcanic rock, black and repulsive, .... with here and there a deep circular depression, through which in the dim past red destruction belched forth, now carefully walled round the lip to prevent wandering sheep or goat from falling in by night. The general impression conveyed was as if the dark waters of a great sea, lashed to fury by a storm, had been suddenly petrified. .... At times we passed over vast sheets of lava which in cooling had cracked in nearly regular lines, and which, broken through in parts, appeared to rest on a stratum of different character, like pieces of cyclopaean pavement. Curious rounded rocks were occasionally seen by the wayside, like gigantic black soap bubbles blown up by the subterranean steam and gases of the active volcanic age; often, with the side broken out as if burst by escaping vapor, the mass, having cooled too far to collapse, remained an enduring monument of the force that formed it. Scanty vegetation peeped from the fissures in the rocks, or preserved a precarious existence in the scanty soil sometimes seen in a hollow between opposing slopes. In a dreary waterless land where the cloudless sun, beating down on fiery stones, creates a heat like that of an oven, it were indeed a wonder if anything less hardy than the ubiquitous thistle could long hold up its head. .... When the traveler has fairly penetrated the rough barriers that surround eI-Leja’ he finds not a little pleasant land within—fertile soil which, if only freed a little from overlying stones, might support a moderate population. In ancient times it was partly cleared, and the work of the old-world agriculturists remains in gigantic banks of stones built along the edges of the patches they cultivated" (Arab and Druze at Home, 30 ff).

In some parts, especially those occupied by the Druzes, fair crops are grown. Where the Arabs are masters, poverty reigns. They also have an evil reputation. As one said to the present writer, "They will even slay the guest." ‘Arab el-Leja’ anjas ma yakun is a common saying, which may be freely rendered: "Than the Arabs of el-Leja’ greater rascals do not exist." Until comparatively recent years there were great breadths of oak and terebinth. These have disappeared, largely owing to the enterprise of the charcoal burners. The region to the Northeast was described by a native as bass wa‘r, "nothing but barren rocky tracts" (compare Hebrew ya‘ar), over which in summer, he said, not even a bird would fly. There are many ruined sites. A list of 71 names collected by the present writer will be found in PEFS, 1895, 366 ff. In many cases the houses, strongly built of stone, are still practically complete, after centuries of desertion.

There may possibly be a reference to the Trachons in the Old Testament where Jeremiah speaks of the charerim, "parched places" (17:6). The cognate el-Charrah is the word used by the Arabs for such a burned, rocky area. For theory that el-Leja’ corresponds to the Old Testament "Argob," see ARGOB.

The robbers who infested the place, making use of the numerous caves, were routed out by Herod the Great (Ant., XV, x, 1 ff; XVI, ix, 1; XVII, ii, 1 f). Trachonitis was included in the tetrarchy of Philip (viii, 1; ix, 4). At his death without heirs it was joined to the province of Syria (XVIII, iv, 6). Caligula gave it to Agrippa I. After his death in 44 AD, and during the minority of his son, it was administered by Roman officers. From 53 till 100 AD it was ruled by Agrippa II. In 106 AD it was incorporated in the new province of Arabia. Under the Romans the district enjoyed a period of great prosperity, to which the Greek inscriptions amply testify. To this time belong practically all the remains to be seen today. The theaters, temples, public buildings and great roads speak of a high civilization. That Christianity also made its way into these fastnesses is vouched for by the ruins of churches. Evil days came with the advent of the Moslems. Small Christian communities are still found at Khabab on the western Luchf, and at Sur in the interior. The southeastern district, with the chief town of Damet el-’Alia, is in the hands of the Druzes; the rest is dominated by the Arabs.

W. Ewing




1. Terms

2. Position of Palestine

3. Trade Products of Palestine

4. Palestinian Traders


1. To David

2. Solomon

3. Maritime Trade

4. To the Exile

5. The Exile and After


I. General. 1. Terms:

For a full list of the commercial terms used in the Old Testament, reference must be made to EB, IV, cols. 5193-99. Only the more important can be given here.

For "merchant" the Hebrew uses almost always one of the two participial forms cocher, or rokhel, both of which mean simply "one who travels." There is no difference in their meaning, but when the two are used together (Eze 27:13 ) the Revised Version (British and American) distinguishes by using "trafficker" for rokhel. The verb cachar, from which cocher is derived, is translated "to trade" in Ge 34:10,21 and "to traffic" in Ge 49:34, with numerous noun formations from the same stem. The verb rakhal from which rokhel is derived does not occur, but the noun formation rekhullah in Eze 26:12 (the Revised Version (British and American) "merchandise"); 28:5,16,18 (the Revised Version (British and American) "traffic") may be noted. In Eze 27:24 the Revised Version (British and American) has "merchandise" for markoleth, but the word means "place of merchandise," "market." The participle tarim, from tur, "seek out," in combination with ‘aneshe, "men," in 1Ki 10:15, is translated "merchant men" by the King James Version, "chapmen" by the English Revised Version and "traders" by the American Standard Revised Version; in 2Ch 9:14, the King James Version and the English Revised Version have "chapmen" and the American Standard Revised Version "traders." The text of these verses is suspected. In Eze 27 (only) "merchandise" represents ma‘arabh, from ‘arabh, "to exchange," translated "to deal," margin "exchange," in 27:9 the American Standard Revised Version, with "dealers," margin "exchangers," in 27:27 (the King James Version and the English Revised Version have "occupy," "occupiers"). kena‘an, and kena‘ani "Canaanite," are sometimes used in the sense of "merchant," but it is often difficult to determine whether the literal or the transferred force is intended. Hence, all the confusion in English Versions of the Bible; in the Revised Version (British and American) note "merchant," Job 41:6; "merchant," margin "Canaanite," Pr 31:24; "trafficker," Isa 23:8; "trafficker," margin "Canaanite," Ho 12:7; "Canaan," margin "merchant people," Isa 23:11; Ze 1:11, and compare "land of traffic," margin "land of Canaan," Eze 17:4.


In Apocrypha and New Testament "merchant" is for emporos (Sirach 26:29, etc.; Mt 13:45; Re 18:3,11,15,23). So "merchandise" is emporion, in Joh 2:16 and emporia, in Mt 22:5, while emporeuomai, is translated "make merchandise of" in 2Pe 2:3 and "trade" in Jas 4:13 (the King James Version "buy and sell"). But "to trade" in Mt 25:16 is for ergazomai (compare Re 18:17), and Lu 19:13 for pragmateuomai, the King James Version "occupy"; while "merchandise" in Re 18:11,12 is for gomos, "cargo" (so the Revised Version margin; compare Ac 21:3). Worthy of note, moreover, is metabolia, "exchange" (Sirach 37:11).

2. Position of Palestine:

Any road map of the ancient world shows that Palestine, despite its lack of harbors, occupied an extremely important position as regards the trade-routes. There was no exit to the West from the great caravan center Damascus, there was virtually no exit landward from the great maritime centers Tyre and Sidon, and there was no exit to the North and Northeast from Egypt without crossing Palestine. In particular, the only good road connecting Tyre (and Sidon) with Damascus lay directly across Northern Palestine, skirting the Sea of Galilee. In consequence, foreign merchants must at all tames have been familiar figures in Palestine (Ge 37:25,28; 1Ki 10:15; Ne 13:16; Isa 2:6; Ze 1:11, etc.). As a corollary, tolls laid on these merchants would always have been a fruitful source of income (1Ki 10:15; Eze 26:2; Ezr 4:20), and naturally Palestine enjoyed particular advantages for the distribution of her own products through the presence of these traders.

3. Trade Products of Palestine:

Of these products the three great staples were grain, oil and wine (Ho 2:8; De 7:13, etc.). The wine of Palestine, however, gained little reputation in the ancient world, and its export is mentioned only in 2Ch 2:10,15; Ezr 3:7, while Eze 27:18 says expressly that for good wine Tyre sent to Damascus. Grain would not be needed by Egypt, but it found a ready market in Phoenicia, both for consumption in the great cities of Tyre and Sidon and for export (1Ki 5:11; Ezr 3:7; Eze 27:17, etc.). A reverse dependence of Palestine on Tyre for food (Isa 23:18; compare Ge 41:57) could have occurred only under exceptional circumstances. Oil was needed by Egypt as well as by Phoenicia (Ho 12:1; Isa 57:9), but from Northern Israel was probably shipped into Egypt by way of Phoenicia. Ho 2:5,9 mentions wool and flax as products of Israel, but neither could have been important. Flax was a specialty of Egypt (Isa 19:9) and is hardly mentioned in the Old Testament, while for wool Israel had to depend largely on Moab (2Ki 3:4; Isa 16:1). Minor products that were exported were "balm .... honey, spicery and myrrh, pistachio-nuts and almonds" (Ge 43:11 margin; see the separate articles, and compare "pannag and .... balm" in Eze 27:17). These were products of Gilead (Ge 37:25). "Oaks of Bashan" had commercial value, but only for use for oars (Eze 27:5), and so in small logs. Palestine had to import all heavy timbers (1Ki 5:6, etc.). Despite De 8:9, Palestine is deficient in mineral wealth. The value of Pal’s manufactured products would depend on the skill of the inhabitants, but for the arts the Hebrews seem to have had no particular aptitude (1Ki 5:6; compare 1Sa 13:19 ff).

4. Palestinian Traders:

In comparison with the great volume of international trade that was constantly passing across Palestine, the above products could have had no very great value and the great merchants would normally have been foreigners. A wide activity as "middlemen" and agents was, however, open to the inhabitants of Palestine, if they cared to use it. Such a profession would demand close contact with the surrounding nations and freedom from religious scruples. The Canaanites evidently excelled in commercial pursuits of this time, so much so that "Canaanite" and "merchant" were convertible terms.

II. History.

1. To David:

The Israelites entered Canaan as a nomadic people who had even agriculture yet to learn, and with a religious self-consciousness that restrained them from too close relations with their neighbors. Hence, they were debarred from much participation in trade. The legislation of the Pentateuch (in sharp distinction from that of Code of Hammurabi) shows this non-commercial spirit very clearly, as there are no provisions that relate to merchants beyond such elementary matters as the prohibition of false weights, etc. (De 25:13; Le 19:36; Covenant Code has not even these rules). In particular, the prohibition of interest (Ex 22:25; De 23:19, etc.) shows that no native commercial life was contemplated, for, without a credit-system, trade on any extensive scale was impossible. All this was to be left to foreigners (De 23:20; compare 15:6; 28:12,44). The Jewish ideal, indeed, was that each household should form a self-sufficient producing unit (Pr 31:10-27), with local or national exchange of those commodities (such as tools and salt) that could not be produced at home. And this ideal seems to have been maintained tolerably well. The most northerly tribes, through their proximity to the Phoenicians, were those first affected by the commercial spirit, and in particular the isolated half-tribe of Dan. In Jud 5:17 we find them "remaining in ships" at the time of Barak’s victory. As their territory had no seacoast, this must mean that they were gaining funds by serving in the ships of Tyre and Sidon. Zebulun and Issachar, likewise, appear in De 33:19 as the merchants of Israel, apparently selling their wares chiefly at the time of the great religious assemblages. But the disorders at the time of the Judges were an effectual bar against much commerce. Saul at length succeeded in producing some kind of order, and we hear that he had brought in a prosperity that showed itself in richer garments and golden ornaments for the women (2Sa 1:24; see MONEY). David’s own establishment of an official shekel (2Sa 14:26) is proof that trade was becoming a matter of importance.

2. Solomon:

Under Solomon, however, Israel’s real trade began. The writer of Ki lays special stress on his imports. From Tyre came timber (1Ki 5:6, etc.) and gold (1Ki 9:11). From Sheba came gold and spices (1Ki 10:10, "gave" here, like "presents" elsewhere, is a euphemism). From Ophir and elsewhere came gold, silver, precious stones, almug trees, ivory, apes and peacocks (1Ki 10:11,22,25). According to Massoretic Text 1Ki 10:28 f, horses and chariots were brought from Egypt and re-sold to the North.

But the text here is suspected. Egypt had no reputation as a horse-mart in comparison with Northern Syria and Western Armenia (see TOGARMAH). So many scholars prefer to read "Musri" (in Northwestern Arabia) for "Egypt" (mtsr for mtsrym—see the comms., especially EB, III, cols. 3162-63). Yet the change does not clear up all the difficulties, and Egypt was certainly famous for her chariots. And compare De 17:16.

In exchange Solomon exported to Tyre wheat and oil (1Ki 5:11; 2Ch 2:10,15 adds "barley .... and wine"). What he sent to the other countries is not specified, and, in particular, there is no mention of what he exchanged for gold. 1Ki 5:11; 9:11, however, indicate that Hiram was the intermediary for most of this gold traffic, so that at the final settlement of accounts Solomon must have been heavily in Hiram’s debt. 1Ki 9:11 proves this. Solomon had undertaken a larger task than the resources of Palestine could meet, and in payment was obliged to cede Northern Galilee to Hiram. (The writer of 1 Kings explains that ‘the cities were worthless,’ while Chronicles passes over the unedifying incident altogether, if 2Ch 8:2 is not a reversal of the case.)

3. Maritime Trade:

Among Solomon’s other activities sea-commerce was not forgotten. David’s victory over Edom gave access to the Red Sea at Eziongeber, and this port was utilized by Hiram and Solomon in partnership (1Ki 9:26 ), Hiram, apparently, supplying the ships and the sailors (1Ki 10:11). After Solomon’s death, Edom revolted and the way to the sea was closed (1Ki 11:14). It was not recovered until the time of Jehoshaphat, and he could do nothing with it, "for the ships were broken at Eziongeber" (1Ki 22:48), i.e. in the home harbor. Either they were badly built or incompetently manned. The Hebrews had no skill as sailors.


4. To the Exile:

After the time of Solomon the commerce established by him of course continued, with fluctuations. Samaria became so important a city from the trade standpoint that Ben-hadad I forced Baasha to assign a street there to the merchants of Damascus, while Ahab succeeded in extracting the reverse privilege from Ben-hadad II (1Ki 20:34). The long and prosperous contemporary reigns of Jeroboam II and Uzziah evidently had great importance for the growth of commerce, and it was the growing luxury of the land under these reigns that called forth the denunciations of Amos, Hosea and Isaiah. Amos complains of the importation of expensive foreign luxuries by the rich (compare Isa 3:18-23), who wasted the natural products of Palestine (Isa 6:3-6; 3:12,15). Grain, the chief article of value, was extorted from the poor (Isa 5:11), and the grain-dealers were notoriously dishonest (Isa 8:4-6); Isa 8:6c in English Versions of the Bible suggests the sale of adulterated grain. The meaning of the Hebrew, however, is obscure, but of course adulteration must have existed, and it is doubtless not without significance that the labels on the recently discovered Samaritan jar-fragments emphasize the purity of the contents (Harvard Theological Review, 1911, 138-39). The extent of commercialism so overwhelms Hosea that he exclaims ‘Ephraim is become a Canaanite!’ (12:7 margin). The most unscrupulous dealing is justified by the plea, "Surely I am become rich" (12:8). Isaiah is shocked at the intimate contracts made with foreigners, which prove so profitable to the makers, but which bring in idolatry (2:6-8). It was in the time of Isaiah that Assyrian influence began to make itself felt in Judah, and the setting up in the Temple of a pattern of an Assyrian altar (2Ki 16:10 f) must have been accompanied with an influx of Assyrian commodities of all descriptions. (Similarly, the religious reaction under Hezekiah would have been accompanied by a boycott on Assyrian goods.) Data for the following pre-exilic period are scanty, but Eze 26:2 shows that Jerusalem retained a position of some commercial importance up to the time of her fall. Of especial interest are Isa 23 and Eze 26; 27 with their descriptions of the commerce of Tyre. Ezekiel indeed confines himself to description, but Isaiah characterizes the income of all this trade as "the hire of a harlot" (23:17,18), a phrase that reappears in Re 18:3,9—a chapter couched in the genuine old prophetic tone and based almost exclusively on Isaiah and Ezekiel. But it is important to note that Isaiah realizes (23:18) that all this enterprise is capable of consecration to Yahweh and is therefore not wrong in itself.

5. The Exile and After:

The deportation into Babylon brought the Jews directly into the midst of a highly developed commercial civilization, and, although we are ignorant of the details, they must have entered into this life to a very considerable extent. Indeed, it is more than probable that it was here that the famed commercial genius of the Jews made its appearance. Certain it is that exiles acquired great wealth and rose to high position (Zec 6:10; Ne 1:11; 5:17, etc.), and that when an opportunity to return to Palestine was opened, most of the exiles preferred to stay where they were (see EXILE). As a matter of fact, the Palestinian community was beggarly poor for years (Zec 8:10; Hag 1:6; Ne 1:3; Mal 3:10-12, etc.) and could not even prevent the sale of its children into slavery (Joe 3:6). Such trade as existed was chiefly in the hands of foreigners (Joe 3:17; Zec 14:21), but the repeated crop-failures must have forced many Jews into commerce to keep from starving. The history of the 4th century is very obscure, but for the later commercial history of the Jews the foundation of Alexandria (332 BC) was a fact of fundamental importance. For Alexandria rapidly became the commercial center of the world and into it the Jews, attracted by the invitations of the Ptolemies, poured in streams. Alexandria’s policy was closely copied by Antioch (on the period see Ant, XII, i, iii; compare ALEXANDRIA; ANTIOCH), and Ant, XII, iv, shows that the ability of the Jews was duly recognized by the Gentiles. But this development was outside Palestine. Sirach does not count commerce among the list of trades in 38:24-30 (note, however, the increased importance of artisans) and his references to commerce throughout are not especially characteristic (5:8; 8:13, etc.; but see 42:7). But even the trade of Palestine must have been increasing steadily. Under the Maccabees Joppa was captured, and the opening of its port for Greek commerce is numbered among Simon’s "glories" (1 Macc 14:5). The unification of the trade-world under Rome, of course, gave Palestine a share in the benefits. Herod was able to work commercial miracles (Ant., XV, vi, 7; viii, 1; ix, 2; xi, 1; XVI, v, 3, etc.), and the Palestine of the New Testament is a commercial rather than an agricultural nation. Christ’s parables touch almost every side of commercial life and present even the pearl merchant as a not unfamiliar figure (Mt 13:45). Into the ethics of commerce, however, He entered little. Sharp dealings were everywhere (Mr 12:40; Lu 16:1-12, etc.), and the service of Mammon, which had pushed its way even into the temple (Mr 11:15-17 and parallel’s), was utterly incompatible with the service of God (Mt 6:19-34, etc.). In themselves, however the things of Caesar and the things of God (Mr 12:17 and parallel’s) belong to different spheres, and with financial questions pure and simple He refused to interfere (Lu 12:13 f). For further details and for the (not very elaborate) teaching of the apostles see ETHICS.


The appropriate sections in the HA’s and Biblical diets., especially G. A. Smith’s indispensable article "Trade" in EB, IV, cols. 5145-99 (1903); for the later period, GJV4, II, 67-82 (1907), III, 97-102 (1909). Compare also Herzfeld, Handelsgeschichte der Juderi des Alterthums2 (1894).

Burton Scott Easton





tra-dish’-un: The Greek word is paradosis, "a giving over," either by word of mouth or in writing; then that which is given over, i.e. tradition, the teaching that is handed down from one to another. The word does not occur in the Hebrew Old Testament (except in Jer 39 (32):4; 41 (34):2, used in another sense), or in the Septuagint or the Apocrypha (except in 2 Esdras 7:26, used in a different sense), but is found 13 times in the New Testament (Mt 15:2,3,6; Mr 7:3,5,8,9,13; 1Co 11:2; Ga 1:14; Col 2:8; 2Th 2:15; 3:6).

1. Meaning in Jewish Theology:

The term in the New Testament has apparently three meanings. It means, in Jewish theology, the oral teachings of the elders (distinguished ancestors from Moses on) which were reverenced by the late Jews equally with the written teachings of the Old Testament, and were regarded by them as equally authoritative on matters of belief and conduct. There seem to be three classes of these oral teachings:

(a) some oral laws of Moses (as they supposed) given by the great lawgiver in addition to the written laws;

(b) decisions of various judges which became precedents in judicial matters;

(c) interpretations of great teachers (rabbis) which came to be prized with the same reverence as were the Old Testament Scriptures.

It was against the tradition of the elders in this first sense that Jesus spoke so pointedly to the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 15:2 f; Mr 7:3 f). The Pharisees charged Jesus with transgressing "the tradition of the elders." Jesus turned on them with the question, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?" He then shows how their hollow traditionalism has fruited into mere ceremonialism and externalism (washing of hands, vessels, saying "Corban" to a suffering parent, i.e. "My property is devoted to God, and therefore I cannot use it to help you," etc.), but He taught that this view of uncleanness was essentially false, since the heart, the seat of the soul, is the source of thought, character and conduct (Mr 7:14 f).

2. As Used in 1 Corinthians and 2 Thessalonians:

The word is used by Paul when referring to his personal Christian teachings to the churches at Corinth and Thessalonica (1Co 11:2; 2Th 2:15; 3:6). In this sense the word in the singular is better translated "instruction," signifying the body of teaching delivered by the apostle to the church at Thessalonica (2Th 3:6). But Paul in the other two passages uses it in the plural, meaning the separate instructions which he delivered to the churches at Corinth and Thessalonica.

3. As Used in Colossians:

The word is used by Paul in Col 2:8 in a sense apparently different from the two senses above. He warns his readers against the teachings of the false teachers in Colosse, which are "after the tradition of men." Olshausen, Lightfoot, Dargan, in their commentaries in the place cited., maintain that the reference is to the Judaistic character of the false teachers. This may be true, and yet we must see that the word "tradition" has a much broader meaning here than in 1 above. Besides, it is not certain that the false teachings at Colosse are essentially Jewish in character. The phrase "tradition of men" seems to emphasize merely the human, not necessarily Jewish, origin of these false teachings.

The verb paradidomi, "to give over," is also used 5 times to express the impartation of Christian instruction: Lu 1:2, where eyewitnesses are said to have handed down the things concerning Jesus; 1Co 11:2,23 and 15:3 referring to the apostle’s personal teaching; 2Pe 2:21, to instruction by some Christian teacher (compare 1Pe 1:18).


Broadus, Allen, Meyer, commentaries on Mt 15:2 f; Swete, Gould, commentaries on Mr (7:3 f); Lightfoot, Meyer, commentaries on Ga 1:14; Lightfoot, Olshausen, Dargan (American Commentary), commentaries on Col 2:8; Milligan, commentary on 1 and 2Th (2Th 2:15 and 3:6); Weber, Jewish Theology (Ger., Altsyn. Theol.); Pocock, Porta Mosis, 350-402; Schurer, HJP, II, i, section 25; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, II, chapter xxxi; Josephus, Ant, XIII, x, 6. Charles B. Williams


traf’-ik, traf’-ik-er (kena‘-an, micchar, cachar, rekhullah):

(1) Kena‘an =" Canaan," and, as the Canaanites were celebrated merchants, came to mean "merchant," and so "traffic" (see CANAAN). Eze 17:4 refers to the great eagle who "cropped off the topmost of the young twigs (of cedar) thereof, and carried it unto a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants."

(2) Micchar means "trade," and so "traffic"; comes from a root meaning "to travel round," e.g. as a peddler. 1Ki 10:15 reads: "Besides that which the traders brought, and the traffic of the merchants." This refers to the income of Solomon.

(3) Cachar means "to go about," "occupy with," "trade," "traffic," "merchant," and so the business of the moving merchant or peddler. Joseph said to his brothers: "So will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffic in the land" (Ge 42:34). He evidently meant that they should have license to become, throughout Egypt, traveling traders.

(4) Rekhullah, from a root meaning "to travel for trading," and so a peddled traffic, as in spices, etc. Ezekiel speaks against the prince of Tyre: "By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches" (28:5); and against the king of Tyre: "in the unrighteousness of thy traffic," etc. (Eze 28:18).


William Edward Raffety


trag’-a-kanth: For "spicery" in Ge 37:25, the Revised Version margin gives "gum tragacanth or storax."



tran (verb chanakh, "educate" (Pr 22:6), with adjective chanikh (Ge 14:14)): In 1Ki 10:2 the Queen of Sheba’s "train," the noun is chayil, the usual word for "force," "army." But in Isa 6:1 the "train" (shul, "loose hanging garment") is that of God’s robe (the Revised Version margin "skirts").


tran, trand: The word is used in two places in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), namely, Ge 14:14, where it means "drilled," "prepared for war," and Pr 22:6. "Train up a child" means more than to teach, and includes everything that pertains to the proper development of the child, especially in its moral and spiritual nature. In this broader sense also the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "train" for the "teach" of the King James Version in Tit 2:4 (sophronizo).


trans (ekstasis): The condition expressed by this word is a mental state in which the person affected is partially or wholly unconscious of objective sensations, but intensely alive to subjective impressions which, however they may be originated, are felt as if they were revelations from without. They may take the form of visual or auditory sensations or else of impressions of taste, smell, heat or cold, and sometimes these conditions precede epileptic seizures constituting what is named the aura epileptica. The word occurs 5 times in the King James Version, twice in the story of Balaam (Nu 24:4,16), twice in the history of Peter (Ac 10:10; 11:5), and once in that of Paul (Ac 22:17). In the Balaam story the word is of the nature of a gloss rather than a translation, as the Hebrew naphal means simply "to fall down" and is translated accordingly in the Revised Version (British and American). Here Septuagint has en hupno, "in sleep" (see SLEEP, DEEP). In Peter’s vision on the housetop at Joppa he saw the sail (othone) descending from heaven, and heard a voice. Paul’s trance was also one of both sight and sound. The vision on the Damascus road (Ac 9:3-9) and that recorded in 2Co 12:2-4 were also cases of trance, as were the prophetic ecstasies of Saul, Daniel and Elisha, and the condition of John in which he says that he was "in the Spirit" (Re 1:10).

The border line between trance and dream is indefinite: the former occurs while one is, in a sense, awake; the latter takes place in the passage from sleep to wakefulness. The dream as well as the vision were supposed of old to be channels of revelation (Job 33:15). In Shakespearean English, "trance" means a dream (Taming of the Shrew, I, i, 182), or simply a bewilderment (Lucrece, 1595).

In the phenomena of hypnotic suggestion, sometimes affecting a number of persons simultaneously we have conditions closely allied to trance, and doubtless some of the well-authenticated phantom appearances are similar subjective projections from the mind affecting the visual and auditory centers of the brain.

Alex. Macalister

TRANSFIGURATION trans-fig-o-ra’-shun (metamorphoomai, "to be transformed"): Used only with reference to the transfiguration of Christ (Mt 17:2; Mr 9:2) and the change wrought in the Christian personality through fellowship with Christ (Ro 12:2; 2Co 3:18).

(1) About midway of His active ministry Jesus, accompanied by Peter, James and John, withdrew to a high mountain apart (probably Mt. Hermon; see next article) for prayer. While praying Jesus was "transfigured," "his face did shine as the sun," "and his garments became glistering, exceeding white, so as no fuller on earth can whiten them." It was night and it was cold. The disciples were drowsy and at first but dimly conscious of the wonder in progress before their eyes. From the brightness came the sound of voices. Jesus was talking with Moses and Elijah, the subject of the discourse, as the disciples probably learned later, being of the decease (exodus) which Jesus was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. As the disciples came to themselves, the figures of Moses and Elijah seemed to withdraw, whereupon Peter impetuously demanded tents to be set up for Jesus and His heavenly visitants that the stay might be prolonged and, if possible, made permanent. Just then a cloud swept over them, and out of the cloud a voice came, saying, "This is my beloved Son: hear ye him." In awe the disciples prostrated themselves and in silence waited. Suddenly, lifting up their eyes they saw no one, save Jesus only (Mt 17:1-13; Mr 9:2-13; Lu 9:28-36).

Such is the simple record. What is its significance? The Scripture narrative offers no explanation, and indeed the event is afterward referred to only in the most general way by Peter (2Pe 1:16-18) and, perhaps, by John (Joh 1:14). That it marked a crisis in the career of Jesus there can be no doubt. From this time He walked consciously under the shadow of the cross. A strict silence on the subject was enjoined upon the three witnesses of His transfiguration until after "the Son of man should have risen again from the dead." This means that, as not before, Jesus was made to realize the sacrificial character of His mission; was made to know for a certainty that death, soon and cruel, was to be His portion; was made to know also that His mission as the fulfillment of Law (Moses) and prophecy (Elijah) was not to be frustrated by death. In His heart now would sound forever the Father’s approval, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The scene, therefore, wrought out in Jesus a new fervor, a new boldness, a new confidence of ultimate victory which, as a source of holy joy, enabled Him to endure the cross and to despise the shame (Heb 12:2). In the disciples the scene must have wrought a new faith in the heavensent leadership of Jesus. In the dark days which were soon to come upon them the memory of the brightness of that unforgettable night would be a stay and strength. There might be opposition, but there could be no permanent defeat of one whose work was ratified by Moses, by Elijah, by God Himself. Indeed, was not the presence of Moses and Elijah a pledge of immortality for all? How in the face of such evidence, real to them, however it might be to others, could they ever again doubt the triumph of life and of Him who was the Lord of life? The abiding lesson of the Transfiguration is that of the reality of the unseen world, of its nearness to us, and of the comforting and inspiring fact that "spirit with spirit may meet."

The transfigured appearance of Jesus may have owed something to the moonlight on the snow and to the drowsiness of the disciples; but no one who has ever seen the face of a saint fresh from communion with God, as in the case of Moses (Ex 34:29-35) and of Stephen (Ac 6:15), will have any difficulty in believing that the figure of Jesus was irradiated with a "light that never was on sea or land." See Comms. and Lives of Christ; also a suggestive treatment in Westcott’s Introduction to the Study of the Gospels. (2) The transfiguration of Christians is accomplished by the renewing of the mind whereby, in utter abandonment to the will of God, the disciple displays the mind of Christ (Ro 12:2); and by that intimate fellowship with God, through which, as with unveiled face he beholds the glory of the Lord, he is "transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit" (2Co 3:18).

Charles M. Stuart


trans-fig-u-ra’-shun (referred to as the "holy mount" in 2Pe 1:18): Records of the Transfiguration are found in Mt 17:1 ff; Mr 9:2 ff; Lu 9:28 ff. From these narratives we gather that Jesus went with His disciples from Bethsaida to the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter’s memorable confession was made. Some six or eight days later Jesus went up into a high mountain to pray, taking with Him Peter, James and John. There He was transfigured before them. Descending the next day, He healed a demoniac boy, and then passed through Galilee to Capernaum.

1. Not Olivet or Tabor:

It is quite evident that the tradition placing the scene on the Mount of Olives must be dismissed. Another tradition, dating from the 4th century, identifies the mountain with Tabor. In the article on TABOR, MOUNT, reasons are stated for rejecting this tradition. It was indeed possible in the time indicated to travel from Caesarea Philippi to Tabor; but there is nothing to show why this journey should have been undertaken; and, the mountain top being occupied by a town or village, a suitable spot could not easily have been found.

2. Mt. Hermon:

In recent years the opinion has become general that the scene must be placed somewhere on Mt. Hermon. It is near to Caesarea Philippi. It is the mountain paragraph excellence in that district (Lu 9:28). It was easily possible in the time to make the journey to Chasbeiyah and up the lofty steeps. The sacred associations of the mountain might lend it special attractions (Stanley, S and the Priestly Code (P), 399). This is supported by the transient comparison of the celestial splendor with the snow, where alone it could be seen in Palestine (ibid., 400).

It seems to have been forgotten that Mt. Hermon lay beyond the boundaries of Palestine, and that the district round its base was occupied by Gentiles (HJP, II, i, 133 f). The sacred associations of the mountain were entirely heathen, and could have lent it no fitness for the purpose of Jesus; hos chion, "as snow," in Mr 9:3, does not belong to the original text, and therefore lends no support to the identification. It was evidently in pursuance of His ordinary custom that Jesus "went up into the mountain to pray" (Lu 9:28). This is the only indication of His purpose. It is not suggested that His object was to be transfigured. "As he was praying," the glory came. There is no hint that He had crossed the border of Palestine; and it is not easy to see why in the circumstances He should have made this journey and toilsome ascent in heathen territory. Next morning as usual He went down again, and was met by a crowd that was plainly Jewish. The presence of "the scribes" is sufficient proof of this (Mr 9:14). Where was such a crowd to come from in this Gentile district? Matthew in effect says that the healing of the demoniac took place in Galilee (Mt 17:22). The case against Mt. Hermon seems not less conclusive than that against Tabor.

3. Jebel Jermuk:

The present writer has ventured to suggest an identification which at least avoids the difficulties that beset the above (Expository Times, XVIII, 333 f). Among the mountains of Upper Galilee Jebel Jermuk is especially conspicuous, its shapely form rising full 4,000 ft. above the sea. It is the highest mountain in Palestine proper, and is quite fitly described as hupselon ("high"). It stands to the West over against the Safed uplands, separated from them by a spacious valley, in the bottom of which runs the tremendous gorge, Wady Leimun. It is by far the most striking feature in all the Galilean landscape. The summit commands a magnificent view, barred only to the Southwest by other mountains of the range. It rises from the midst of a district which then supported a large population of Jews, with such important Jewish centers as Kefr Bir‘im, Gishcala, Meiron, etc., around its base. Remote and lonely as it is, the summit was just such a place as Jesus might have chosen for prayer. It was comparatively easy to reach, and might be comfortably climbed in the evening. Then on His descent next day the crowd might easily assemble from the country and the villages near by. How long our Lord stayed near Caesarea Philippi after the conversation recorded in Mt 16:21 ff we do not know. From Banias to Gishcala, e.g. one could walk on foot without fatigue in a couple of days. If a little time were spent in the Jewish villages passed on the way, the six days, or Luke’s "about eight days," are easily accounted for. From this place to Capernaum He would "pass through Galilee" (Mr 9:30).

W. Ewing


trans-form’ (Ro 12:2; the Revised Version (British and American) 2Co 3:18 for metamorphoomai, and the King James Version 2Co 11:13,14,15 for metaschematizo, the Revised Version (British and American) "fashion"): The commentaries often explain the former word as connoting a change of nature, while the latter refers only to the appearance, but this distinction is probably fanciful.


trans-gresh’-un: From "transgress," to pass over or beyond; to overpass, as any rule prescribed as the limit of duty; to break or violate, as a law, civil or moral; the act of transgressing; the violation of a law or known principle of rectitude; breach of command; offense; crime; sin. In the Old Testament pesha‘, occurs 80 times, rendered in all versions by "transgression." Its meaning is "rebellion"; see REBELLION. The word "rebellion" differs from this word in that it may be in the heart, though no opportunity should be granted for its manifestation: "An evil man seeketh only rebellion" (Pr 17:11). Here the wise man contemplates an evil heart, looking for an excuse or opportunity to rebel.

The New Testament uses parabasis, "trespass": "The law .... was added because of transgressions" (Ga 3:19); "Where there is no law, neither is there transgression" (Ro 4:15); "for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant" (Heb 9:15).

David Roberts Dungan


trans-la’-shun: The verb "translate" is found once in the Old Testament (2Sa 3:10 the King James Version, in the sense of "to transfer") and 3 times in the New Testament (Col 1:13, methistemi, where it means "to transfer"; twice in Heb 11:5, where it has the quasi-technical sense of removing one from the earthly to the heavenly state without the intervening experience of death).

The noun "translation" occurs only in Heb 11:5, metathesis, where it refers to the transition, the general nature of which has just been described in connection with the verb. With their customary reserve in regard to such matters, the Scriptures simply record the fact of Enoch’s translation without commenting either upon the attendant circumstances, or upon the nature of the change involved in his experience. Doubtless what Paul says in 1Co 15:51,52 applied in the case of Enoch and also in that of Elijah (2Ki 2:11).

W. M. McPheeters


(moqesh; thera, literally, "hunting," used metaphorically in Psalms and Romans as "trap"): Any of the methods for taking birds; see SNARE; NET; GIN, etc. It is probable that a trap was more particularly a hole in the ground covered with twigs, concealed by leaves and baited with food. Such devices were common in taking the largest animals and may have been used with birds also. Trap is mentioned frequently in connection with snare and in such manner as to indicate that they were different devices: "Know for a certainty that Yahweh your God will no more drive these nations from out of your sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap unto you" (Jos 23:13). Another such reference will be found in Ps 69:22:

"Let their table before them become a snare;

And when they are in peace, let it become a trap."

This is quoted in Ro 11:9: "Let their table be made a snare, and a trap,

And a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them."

An instance where a trap alone is referred to can be found in Jer 5:26: "They set a trap, they catch men." Isa 42:22 uses this expression, "snared in holes." This might mean that a snare was placed in a hole, or that the hole was the snare to lure bird or animal to its death. The former proposition is sustained by Job, who says, "A noose is hid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way" (18:10). This translation appears as if it were reversed and should read, "A trap is hid for him in the ground and a noose in the way."

Gene Stratton-Porter


trav’-al (yaladh (Ge 35:16, etc.), chul, chil (properly "writhe," Job 15:20, etc.); odin (classical odis) (Mt 24:8, etc.), odino (Sirach 19:11, etc.; Ga 4:19, etc.)): "Travail" and its derivatives are used in the primary sense of the labor of childbirth, descriptive of the actual cases of Rachel (Ge 35:16), Tamar (Ge 38:27), Ichabod’s mother (1Sa 4:19), and the apocalyptic woman clothed with the sun (Re 12:2). In the majority of passages, however, "travail" is used figuratively, to express extreme and painful sorrow (9 times in Jeremiah), "as of a woman in travail." It is also employed in the sense of irksome and vexatious business (6 times in Ecclesiastes, where it is the rendering of the word ‘inyan). In the same book "travail" is used to express the toil of one’s daily occupation (Ecclesiastes 4:4,6), where it is the translation of ‘amal. In three places (Ex 18:8; Nu 20:14; La 3:5) where the King James Version has "travel" the Revised Version (British and American) has changed it to "travail," as in these passages the word tela’ah refers to the sense of weariness and toil, rather than to the idea of journeying (in the King James Version the spellings "travel" and "travail" were used indiscriminately; compare Sirach 19:11; 31:5). The sorrows which are the fruits of wickedness are compared to the pain of travail in Job 15:20 (chul) and Ps 7:14 (chabhal), the word used here meaning the torture or twisting pains of labor; see also the fanciful employment of "travail" in Sirach 19:11.

In the New Testament the travail of childbirth is used as the figure of the painful and anxious struggle against the evils of the world in the soul’s efforts to attain the higher ideals of the Christian life (Joh 16:21 (tikto); Ro 8:22; Ga 4:27); twice, however, it is the rendering of mochthos, the ordinary word for "toil," "hardship" or "distress" (1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8).


Alex. Macalister


trav’-el-er: Jud 5:6 for halakh nethibhah, "goers on paths"; 2Sa 12:4 for helekh, literally, "a going"; Job 31:32 for ‘arach, participle of a verb meaning "to wander"; Sirach 26:12; 42:3 for hodoiporos, "one making a way."






tre’-z’-n: The translation of qesher, in English Versions of the Bible 1Ki 16:20; 2Ki 11:14 parallel 2Ch 23:13. Qesher (from qashar, "to bind") means "a conspiracy" (2Sa 15:12; 2Ki 12:20, etc.), and the translation "treason" is due to the King James Versions’ love of variety.


trezh’-ur, trezh’-ur-er, trezh’-ur-i (otsar, genaz, genez, ganzakh, chocen matmon, mickenah, mikhman, ‘athudh, saphan; gaza, thesauros):

I. In the Old Testament.

1. Treasure

The English word "treasure" has in the Old Testament at least five somewhat distinct meanings as expressed in the words: "treasure," genaz (Aramaic) or genez (Hebrew), usually meaning "the thing stored"; translated "treasures" in Ezr 6:1, but in 5:17 and 7:20 translated "treasure-house": "search made in the king’s treasure-house." In Es 3:9; 4:7 the Hebrew form is translated "treasury," as is ganzakh in 1Ch 28:11.

2. Storehouse:

"Storehouse," not the thing stored but the place of storage; ‘otsar means depository, cellar, garner, armory, store or treasure-house. In several places it ought to be translated by some of these words. It is the most frequent word for treasure. the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version both translate in some instances by other words, e.g. 1Ki 7:51, "treasuries of the house of Yahweh," so also 2Ch 5:1; "treasury" in Ne 7:70,71, "gave to the treasury a thousand darics of gold"; in Job 38:22, "treasuries of the snow" (compare Pr 8:21; Jer 10:13; 51:16; Ezr 2:69).

3. Hidden Riches:

"Treasure" or something concealed. There are 3 Hebrew words with this meaning and all in the King James Version translated "treasure." (1) Matmon, which literally means "a secret storehouse" and so a secreted valuable, usually money buried, and so hidden riches of any kind, hid treasures: "treasure in your sacks" (Ge 43:23); "dig for it more than for hid treasures" (Job 3:21); "search for her as for hid treasures" (Pr 2:4); "We have stores hidden in the field, of wheat," etc. (Jer 41:8). (2) Mikhman, treasure as hidden, used only in Da 11:43: "have power over the treasures of gold and silver." (3) Saphan, meaning hidden treasure or valuables concealed: "hidden treasures of the sand" (De 33:19).

4. Strength:

Perhaps the strength of riches and so treasure, the Hebrew word being chocen, from a root meaning to hoard or lay up: "In the house of the righteous is much treasure" (Pr 15:6); "They take treasure and precious things" (Eze 22:25).

5. Something Prepared:

"Something prepared," made ready, the Hebrew word being ‘athudh, meaning "prepared," "ready," therefore something of value and so treasure: "have robbed their treasures," fortifications or other things "made ready" (Isa 10:13).

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word most often translated "treasure" is ‘otsar. It occurs in the sing. as follows: De 28:12; 1Ch 29:8; Ne 10:38; Ps 17:14; 135:4; Pr 15:16; 21:20; Ec 2:8; Isa 33:6; Da 1:2; Ho 13:15; in the pl.: De 32:34; 1Ki 14:26; 15:18; 2Ki 12:18; 14:14; 16:8; 18:15; 20:13,15; 24:13, etc.

The same word is in the King James Version translated "treasuries" in 1Ch 9:26; 28:12; 2Ch 32:27; Ne 13:12,13; Ps 135:7; and "treasury" in Jos 6:19,24; Jer 38:11.

II. In the New Testament.

1. Gaza:

There are two words translated "treasure": Gaza is of Persian origin, meaning "treasure." Found only once in Ac 8:27 concerning the Ethiopian "who was over all her (Queen Candace’s) treasure." In the compound gazophulakion, "guarding of gaza," the same word appears and the compound is translated "treasury" in Mr 12:41,43 parallel Lu 21:1; Joh 8:20.


2. Thesauros:

The word thesauros means literally, a "deposit," so wealth and treasure. Evidently throughout the New Testament it has a twofold usage as describing

(1) material treasure, either money or other valuable material possession, and

(2) spiritual treasure, e.g. "like unto treasure hid in a field" (Mt 13:44); "good treasure of the heart" (Mt 12:35).

Other references to material treasure are Mt 6:21; 13:52; Lu 12:21,34, etc. References to spiritual treasure are Mt 19:21; Mr 10:21; Lu 6:45; 12:33; 18:22; plural Mt 6:20; Col 2:3.

In Mt 27:6 the word for "treasury" is korbanas; compare the Revised Version margin.



(’atsar, gedhabhar, gizbar, cakhan; oikonomos):

(1) ‘Atsar, meaning primarily "to store up," and hence, one who lays up in store, i.e. a "treasurer": "I made treasurers over the treasuries" (Ne 13:13).

(2) Gedhabhar (Aramaic), used only in Da 3:2,3: "treasurers," named with judges and counselors as recognized officials.

(3) Gizbar, used in Ezr 7:21 (Aramaic) and equivalent in Ezr 1:8 (Hebrew): "treasurers beyond the river" and "Mithredath the treasurer."

(4) Cakhan, primarily meaning "one who ministers to," and hence, a keeper of treasure, treasurer: "Get thee unto this treasurer" (Isa 22:15). Perhaps the idea of steward is here intended.

(5) Oikonomos, by the King James Version translated "chamberlain," more properly in the American Standard Revised Version translated "treasurer": "Erastus the treasurer of the city saluteth you" (Ro 16:23).

William Edward Raffety


trezh’-ur-i (’otsar, usually; ganzakh, 1Ch 28:11; gazophulakion, korbanas):

1. Origin of the Treasury:

The need of a "treasury" in connection with the house of Yahweh would early be felt for the reception of the offerings of the people, of tithes, and of the spoils of war dedicated to Yahweh. Already in Jos 6:19,24, therefore, we read of a "treasury of the house of Yahweh," into which "the silver and gold, and vessels of brass and iron," taken at Jericho, were brought. In the reign of David, and in his plans for the future temple, great prominence is given to the "treasuries." In 1Ch 26:20 ff are given the names of those who were over "the treasures of the house of God," and over "the treasures of the dedicated things" ("the spoil won in battles," 26:27), the latter being applied "to repair the house of Yahweh."

2. The Solomonic Temple:

In David’s plans for Solomon the "treasuries" (ganzakkim) are mentioned with the "porch," "the houses," the "upper rooms," the "inner chambers" of the Temple (1Ch 28:11); and the same distinction is made of "the treasuries (’otsroth) of the house of God," and "the treasuries of the dedicated things" (1Ch 28:12). In the accounts of the actual building of the Temple, "treasuries" are not mentioned, but subsequent notices give ample evidence of their existence. In the narratives of the repeated plunderings of the Temple (see TEMPLE), constant allusion is made to the carrying away of "the treasures of the house of Yahweh" and "the treasures of the king’s house" or palace (1Ki 14:26; 15:15,18; 2Ki 12:18; 14:14; 16:8; 18:15; 24:13). In the episode of Jehoash’s repair of the Temple (2Ki 12; 2Ch 24), we have a refreshing glimpse of the presence and uses of the treasury; but this brighter gleam is soon swallowed up again in darkness. Of the larger store-chambers we get a glance in Jeremiah, where we are told that "the house of the king" was "under the treasury" (38:11), i.e. on a lower level under the south wall.

3. The Second Temple:

The Book of Ne introduces us to treasury-chambers in the second temple—now used for the voluntary offerings (tithes) of the people—grain, and wine, and oil (Ne 13:4 ff; compare Mal 3:10). A certain Meshullam had repaired the city wall "over against his chamber" (Ne 3:30), and he, with other Levites, kept "the watch at the storehouses of the gates" (Ne 12:25). These gates were probably gates of exit on the southern side, as in the Herodian temple.

4. Herod’s Temple in the New Testament:

In Herod’s temple the name "treasury" was specially given to the "court of the women" (see TEMPLE, HEROD’S), where were 13 trumpet-shaped boxes for the reception of the offerings of the worshippers. It was here that Jesus saw the poor widow cast in her two mites (Mr 12:41; Lu 21:1-4), and the court is expressly named the "treasury" in Joh 8:20: "These words spake he in the treasury, as he taught in the temple." It is a legitimate deduction that this court was the ordinary scene of the Lord’s ministry when teaching in the temple.


W. Shaw Caldecott


tre’-ti (berith, karath berith, "make a covenant," "league," "treaty"): Although the Israelites were forbidden to make treaties, or enter into covenant, with the Canaanites because of the risk thereby involved of religious apostasy and moral contamination (Ex 23:32; 34:12; De 7:2; Jud 2:2), they were so situated in the midst of the nations that treaty relations of some sort with their neighbors were from time to time inevitable. After the rise of the monarchy, treaties were common. David and Solomon had friendly relations with Hiram, king of Tyre (1Ki 5:15 ); Asa, to rid himself of the hostile approaches of Baasha, king of Israel, entered into a league with Ben-hadad of Syria, which the prophet Hanani denounced (2Ch 16:1 ); Ahab entered into a similar compact with Ben-hadad’s son and successor, and set him at liberty when he was his prisoner of war (1Ki 20:34); and at a later time Jehoshaphat joined Ahab in an expedition against Ben-hadad II to Ramoth-gilead in which Ahab lost his life (1Ki 22). Sometimes with Syria and neighboring states against the terrible Assyrian power, and sometimes with Egypt against Assyria or Babylon, the kings of Israel and Judah entered into treaty to resist their advances and to preserve their own independence (2Ki 17:4; Ho 7:11; Isa 30:1). Against such alliances the prophets raised their testimony (Isa 31:1; Jer 27:3 ).

See also WAR, 9; ROME, V, 1.

T. Nicol





(‘ets chayyim; xulon tes zoes): The expression "tree of life" occurs in four groups or connections: (1) in the story of the Garden of Eden, (2) in the Proverbs of the Wise Men, (3) in the apocryphal writings, and (4) in the Apocalypse of John.

1. The Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden:

The tree was in the midst of the Garden, and its fruit of such a nature as to produce physical immortality (Ge 2:9; 3:22). After guiltily partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the sinful tendency having thus been implanted in their natures, the man and woman are driven forth from the Garden lest they should eat of the tree of life and live forever (Ge 3:22). The idea seems to be that, if they should eat of it and become immortalized in their sinful condition, it would be an unspeakable calamity to them and their posterity. For sinful beings to live forever upon earth would be inconceivably disastrous, for the redemption and development of the race would be an impossibility in that condition. Earth would soon have been a hell with sin propagating itself forever. To prevent such a possibility they were driven forth, cherubim were placed at the entrance of the Garden, the flame of a sword revolving every way kept the way of the tree of life, and this prevented the possibility of man possessing a physical immortality. It is implied that they had not yet partaken of this tree and the opportunity is now forever gone. Immortality must be reached in some other way.

The interpretation of the story is a standing problem. Is it mythical, allegorical, or historical? Opinions vary from one of these extremes to the other with all degrees of difference between. In general, interpreters may be divided into three classes:

(1) Many regard the story as a myth, an ancient representation of what men then conceived early man to have been, but with no historical basis behind it. All rationalistic and modern critical scholars are practically agreed on this. Budde in his Urgeschichte says there was but one tree, that is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the intimation of a tree of life is an interpolation. Barton has endeavored to show that the tree of life was really the date-palm, and the myth gathered around this tree because of its bisexual nature. He holds that man came to his self-realization through the sexual relation, and therefore the date-palm came to be regarded as the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But this difference came in later when the knowledge of its origin became obscured. He calls attention to the fact that the sacred palm is found in the sanctuary of Ea at Eridu. All such interpretations are too obviously based upon a materialistic evolution hypothesis.

(2) There are those who regard the entire story as literal: one tree would actually impart physical immortality, the other the knowledge of evil. But this involves endless difficulties also, requires tremendous differences between the laws of Nature then and now, vast differences in fruits, men and animals, and an equally vast difference in God’s dealings with man.

(3) We prefer to regard it as a pictorial-spiritual story, the representing of great spiritual facts and religious history in the form of a picture. This is the usual Bible method. It was constantly employed by the prophets, and Jesus continually "pictured" great spiritual facts by means of material objects. Such were most of His parables. John’s Apocalypse is also a series of pictures representing spiritual and moral history. So the tree of life is a picture of the glorious possibilities which lay before primitive man, and which might have been realized by him had not his sin and sinful condition prevented it. God’s intervention was a great mercy to the human race. Immortality in sin is rendered impossible, and this has made possible an immortality through redemption; man at first is pictured as neither mortal nor immortal, but both are possible, as represented by the two trees. He sinned and became mortal, and then immortality was denied him. It has since been made possible in a much higher and more glorious way.

2. A Common Poetic Simile:

This picture was not lost to Israel. The "tree of life," became a common poetic simile to represent that which may be a source of great blessing. In the Book of Pr the conception deepens from a physical source of a mere physical immortality to a moral and spiritual source of a full life, mental moral and spiritual, which will potentially last forever. Life, long life, is here attributed to a certain possession or quality of mind and heart. Wisdom is a source and supply of life to man. This wisdom is essentially of a moral quality, and this moral force brings the whole man into right relations with the source of life. Hence, a man truly lives by reason of this relationship (Pr 3:18). The allusion in this verse is doubtless to Ge 2:9; 3:22. An expression very similar is Pr 10:11, where the mouth of the righteous is declared to be a fountain of life. Good words are a power for good, and hence, produce good living. Pr 11:30 has a like thought: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life," i.e. the good life is a source of good in its influence on others. Pr 13:12 says: "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." The meaning seems to be that the gratification of good and lawful desires produces those pleasures and activities which make up life and its blessings. Pr 15:4 says: "A gentle tongue is a tree of life," i.e. its beneficent influences help others to a better life.

3. The Apocryphal Writings:

The apocryphal writings contain a few references to the tree of life, but use the phrase in a different sense from that in which it is used in the canonical books: "They shall have the tree of life for an ointment of sweet savour" (2 Esdras 2:12). Ecclesiasticus 1:20 has only an indirect reference to it. Ethiopic Enoch, in his picture of the Messianic age, uses his imagination very freely in describing it: "It has a fragrance beyond all fragrances; its leaves and bloom and wood wither not forever; its fruit is beautiful and resembles the date-palm" (24:4). Slavonic Enoch speaks thus: "In the midst there is the tree of life .... and this tree cannot be described for its excellence and sweet odor" (8:3). 2 Esdras describing the future says: "Unto you is paradise opened, the tree of life is planted" (8:52).

4. The Book of Revelation:

The Apocalypse of John refers to the tree of life in three places (Re 2:7; 22:2,14). These are pictures of the glorious possibilities of life which await the redeemed soul. In Ezekiel’s picture of the ideal state and the Messianic age, there flows from the sanctuary of God a life-giving river having trees upon its banks on either side, yielding fruit every month. The leaf of this tree would not wither, nor its fruit fail, because that which gave moisture to its roots flowed from the sanctuary. This fruit was for food and the leaves for medicine (Eze 47:12). Very similar to this and probably an expansion of it is John’s picture in Revelation: "To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God" (2:7). This means that all the possibilities of a complete and glorious life are open to the one that overcomes, and by overcoming is prepared to become immortal in a vastly higher sense than was possible to primitive man. In his picture of the few Jerusalem, the river of water of life has the tree of life on either side (22:2). Its leaf never fades and its monthly fruitage never fails. Food and medicine these are to be to the world, supplied freely to all that all may enjoy the highest possibilities of activity and blessedness which can come to those who are in right relationships with God and Jesus Christ. In 22:14 John pronounces a blessing on those who wash their robes, who lead the clean and pure Christ life, for they thereby have the right and privilege of entering into the gates of the City and partaking of the tree of life. This means not only immortal existence, but such relations with Jesus Christ and the church that each has unrestricted access to all that is good in the universe of God. The limit is his own limited capacity.

James Josiah Reeve









trench, trensh.

See SIEGE, (5), (8).


tres’-pas: To pass over, to go beyond one’s right in place or act; to injure another; to do that which annoys or inconveniences another; any violation of law, civil or moral; it may relate to a person, a community, or the state, or to offenses against God. The Hebrew ‘asham ("sin"), is used very frequently in the Old Testament when the trespass is a violation of law of which God is the author. The Greek word is paraptoma.

In the Old Testament an offering was demanded when the offense was against God: a female lamb; in other cases, according to the magnitude of the wrong, a ram or a goat; the offering was to be preceded by a confession by the one committing the trespass. If the trespass was against a human being, the wrong-doer must make it right with the person, and when reconciliation should have been effected, then the offering for sin was to be made. See under SACRIFICE, "Trespass Offering." If a person’s property has been injured, then the trespasser shall add a fifth to the value of the property injured and give that to the injured party (Le 6:5). Zaccheus, wanting to make full restitution, went beyond the demands of the Law (Lu 19:1-9).

The New Testament teaching on the subject is, first to be reconciled to the brother and then offer, or worship (Mt 5:23,24). In all cases, also, the offended party must forgive if the offender shall say, "I repent" (Mt 6:14; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13). We have been alienated by our trespasses from God (Eph 2:1). It was the Father’s good will to reconcile all to Himself through Christ (Col 1:20-22). We must be reconciled to God (2Co 5:20,21). This being done, our trespasses shall be forgiven and we shall be justified.

David Roberts Dungan









trib (in the Old Testament always for matteh, 183 times, or shebhet, 145 times, also spelled shebhet; Aramaic shebhat (Ezr 6:17)): Both words mean "staff," and perhaps "company led by chief with staff" (OHL, 641) is the origin of the meaning "tribe." In the Apocrypha and New Testament always for phule, from phuo, "beget," with dodekaphulon, "twelve tribes," in Ac 26:7. Of the two Hebrew words, shebhet appears to be considerably the older, and is used in Ps 74:2; Jer 10:16; 51:19 of the whole people of Israel, and in Nu 4:18; Jud 20:12 (Revised Version margin); 1Sa 9:21 (Revised Version margin) of subdivisions of a tribe (but the text of most of these six verses is suspicious). Further, in Isa 19:13, shebhet is used of the "tribes" (nomes?) of Egypt and phule in Mt 24:30 of "all the tribes of the earth," but otherwise shebhet, matteh and phule refer exclusively to the tribes of Israel. In 2Sa 7:7 for shibhete, "tribes," read shophete, "judges" (of the Revised Version margin).

Burton Scott Easton


trib-u-la’-shun (tsar, tsar, "staid," "narrow," "pent up"; compare Nu 22:26):

1. In the Old Testament:

Closely pressed, as of seals (Job 41:15 (7)); of streams pent up (Isa 59:9 margin); of strength limited (Pr 24:10, "small"). Hence, figuratively, of straitened circumstances; variously rendered "affliction," "tribulation," "distress" (De 4:30; Job 15:24; 30:12; Ps 4:2; 18:7; 32:7; 44:11, etc.; Ps 78:42; 102:3; 106:44; 119:143; Isa 26:16; 30:20; Ho 5:15; Eze 30:16). Frequently, the feminine form (tsarah) is similarly rendered "tribulation" (Jud 10:14 the King James Version; 1Sa 10:19 the King James Version; 1Sa 26:24); in other places "distress," "affliction" (Ge 42:21; Ps 120:1; Pr 11:8; 2Ch 20:9; Isa 63:9; Jer 15:11; Jon 2:2; Na 1:9; Zec 10:11).

2. In the New Testament:

The Greek is thlipsis, a "pressing together" (as of grapes), squeezing or pinching (from verb thlibo); used figuratively for "distress," "tribulation"; Septuagint for tsar and tsarah; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) tribulatio pressura (from tribulum, "a threshing sledge"). The verb form is rendered "suffer tribulation" (1Th 3:4 the King James Version, "suffer affliction" the Revised Version (British and American)); "trouble" (2Th 1:6 the King James Version, "afflict" the Revised Version (British and American); compare 2Co 1:6; 4:8; 7:5; 1Ti 5:10; Heb 11:37). The noun form is rendered in the King James Version variously as "tribulation," "affliction," "persecution," though more uniformly "tribulation" in the Revised Version (British and American). The word is used generally of the hardships which Christ’s followers would suffer (Mt 13:21; 24:9,21,29; Mr 4:17; 13:19,24; Joh 16:33; 1Co 7:28); or which they are now passing through (Ro 5:3; 12:12; 2Co 4:17; Php 4:14); or through which they have already come (Ac 11:19; 2Co 2:4; Re 7:14).

Edward Bagby Pollard


trib’-ut (mac, "tribute," really meaning "forced laborers," "labor gang" (1Ki 4:6; 9:15,21); also "forced service," "serfdom"; possibly "forced payment" is meant in Es 10:1; the idea contained in the modern word is better given by middah (Ezr 6:8; Ne 5:4)): Words used only of the duty levied for Yahweh on acquired spoils are mekhec, "assessment" (Nu 31:28,37,38,39,40,41), belo, "excise" (Ezr 4:13,10; Ne 7:24), massa’," burden" (2Ch 17:11), and ‘onesh, "fine" or "indemnity" (2Ki 23:33; compare Pr 19:19). The translation "tribute" for miccath, in De 16:10 is wrong (compare the Revised Version margin). kensos (Mt 22:17; Mr 12:14) =" census," while phoros (Lu 20:22; 23:2; Ro 13:6,7), signifies an annual tax on persons, houses, lands, both being direct taxes. The phoroi were paid by agriculturists, payment being made partly in kind, partly in money, and are contrasted with the tele of the publicans, while kensos is strictly a poll tax. The amount of tribute required as a poll tax by the Romans was the didrachmon (Mt 17:24), the King James Version "tribute," the Revised Version (British and American) "half-shekel." The stater (Mt 17:27), was a tetradrachm, "one shekel," or pay for two. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews were required to pay this poll tax toward the support of the worship of Jupiter Capitolinus. Different kinds of personal taxes were raised by the Romans:

(1) an income tax,

(2) the poll tax.

The latter must be paid by women and slaves as well as by free men, only children and aged people being exempted. The payment exacted began with the 14th year in the case of men and the 12th in the case of women, the obligation remaining in force up to the 65th year in the case of both. For purposes of assessment, each person was permitted to put his own statement on record. After public notice had been given by the government, every citizen was expected to respond without personal visitation by an official (see Lu 2:1 ff). On the basis of the records thus voluntarily made, the tax collectors would enforce the payment of the tribute.

See also TAX, TAXING.

Frank E. Hirsch


(to nomisma tou kensou (Mt 22:19), "the coin used in payment of the imperial taxes"): Lit. "the lawful money of the tax," which, in the case of the poll tax, had to be paid in current coin of the realm (see Mt 17:27).


tri-klin’-ti-um (Latin from Greek triklinion, from tri and kline, "a couch"): A couch for reclining at meals among the ancient Romans, arranged along three sides of a square, the fourth side being left open for bringing in food or tables, when these were used. In the larger Roman houses the dining-rooms consisted of small alcoves in the atrium arranged to receive triclinia. In early Old Testament times people sat at their meals (Ge 27:19; Jud 19:6; 1Sa 20:5; 1Ki 13:20). Reclining was a luxurious habit imported from foreign countries by the degenerate aristocracy in the days of the later prophets (Am 2:8; 6:4). Still, we find it common in New Testament times (Mt 9:10; 26:7; Mr 6:22,39; 14:3,18; Lu 5:29; 7:36,37; 14:10; 17:7; Joh 12:2; in these passages, though English Versions of the Bible read "sat," the Greek words are anakeimai, sunanakeimai, anapipto, katakeimai and anaklino, all indicating "reclining"; compare Joh 13:23; 21:20; here the King James Version translates these words "lean," probably with reference to the Jewish custom of leaning at the Passover feast). In Joh 2:8,9 the ruler or governor of the feast is called architriklinos, that is, the master of the triclinium.


Nathan Isaacs


The only non-modern use is in Jer 2:33, "How trimmest thou thy way to seek love!" used for yatabh, "to make good," here "to study out," and the whole phrase means "to walk in an artificial manner," "like a courtesan."


trin tri’-un i-mur’-shun:


1. Immersion

2. Triple Action



1. The Jews

2. John the Baptist

3. The Didache

4. Justin Martyr

5. Tertullian

6. Eunomius

7. Greek Church


I. Linguistic Basis.

1. Immersion:

The meaning of the word baptizo, is "to dip repeatedly," "to sub-merge" (Thayer, Greek Lexicon of the New Testament). It is probably the frequentative of bapto, "to dip," meaning "to dip repeatedly." The word baptizo (and baptisma) in the New Testament is "used absolutely, ‘to administer the rite of ablution,’ ‘to baptize’ "( same place) . It is "an immersion in water, performed as a sign of the removal of sin," etc. (same place) ;" Baptizo, to dip in or under water" (Liddell and Scott, Greek Lexicon).

2. Triple Action:

The threefold immersion is based upon the Trinity into which the believer is to be baptized "into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (eis to onoma tou patros kal tou huiou kai tou hagiou pneumatos, Mt 28:19). (On the genuineness of this passage see Plummer, Commentary on Matthew.)

II. Doctrinal Argument.

Whether Jesus spoke the words of Mt 28:19 as a baptismal formula or not does not affect the question. The passages in Acts, "in the name of Jesus Christ" (2:38; 10:48), and "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (8:16; 19:5), are not baptismal formulas, but mean the confession of Christ with all that Christ stands for, namely, the fullness of God and His salvation. The idea of the Trinity pervades the New Testament and many of the earliest writings (compare 1Co 12:4-6; 2Co 13:14; Eph 2:18; 3:14-17; 4:4-6; 2Th 2:13-15; Heb 6:4-6; 1Joh 3:23,24; 4:2; Jude 1:20,21; Re 1:4,5). "Baptized into Christ" has the same religious content as Mt 28:19. Triune immersion is the symbol of baptism into the Triune God. All believers in the Trinity should see the consistency of this symbol. Baptism is the symbol

(1) of a complete cleansing,

(2) of death,

(3) of burial,

(4) of resurrection, and

(5) of entering into full union and fellowship with the Triune God as revealed by Christ.

Triune immersion is the only symbol that symbolizes all that baptism stands for. Note the words of Sanday on Ro 6:1-14 (comm. on Rom, ICC, 153): "Baptism has a double function:

(1) It brings the Christian into personal contact with Christ, so close that it may fitly be described as personal union with Him.

(2) It expresses symbolically a series of acts corresponding to the redeeming acts of Christ. Immersion = Death. Submersion = Burial (the ratification of Death). Emergence = Resurrection. All these the Christian has to undergo in a moral and spiritual sense, and by means of his union with Christ." Hence, the psychological need of a true symbol, triune immersion, to teach and impress the significance of the new life.

III. Historical Practice.

1. The Jews: The Jews received proselytes by circumcision, baptism (complete immersion) and sacrifice (Schurer, HJP, II, 2, pp. 319 f; Edersheim, LTJM, II, 745, and I, 273). John the Baptist, baptized "in the river Jordan" (Mt 3:6) and "in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there" (Joh 3:23).

2. John the Baptist:

Philip and the eunuch "both went down into the water" and they "came up out of the water." All New Testament baptisms were by immersion (see also Ro 6:1-11).

3. The Didache:

The Didache (100-150 AD) chapter vii: "Baptize into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in living (running) water. But if they have not living water, baptize into other water; and if thou canst not in cold, in warm" (baptisate eis to onoma tou patos kai tou huiou kai tou hagiou pneumatos en hudati zonti). "But if thou have not either, pour out water thrice (tris) upon the head into the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit." Here the triple action is maintained throughout, even in clinical baptism, while immersion is the rule.

Justin Martyr (Apology i.61) describes baptism which can only be understood as triune immersion.

4. Justin Martyr:

Tertullian (De Corona, iii) says, "Hereupon we are thrice immersed" (dehinc ter mergitamur). Again (Ad Praxeam, xxvi), "And lastly he commands them to baptize into the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, not into a unipersonal God.

5. Tertullian:

And indeed it is not only once but three times that we are immersed into the Three Persons, at each several mention of their names" (nam nec semel, sed ter, ad singula nomina, in personas singulos, tinguimur).

6. Eunomius:

Eunomius (circa 360) introduced single immersion "into the death of Christ." This innovation was condemned. Apostolical Constitutions, 50, says, "If any presbyter or bishop does not perform the one initiation with three immersions, but with giving one immersion only into the death of the Lord, let him be deposed." Single immersion was allowed by Gregory the Great (circa 691) to the church in Spain in opposition to the Arians who used a trine (not triune) immersion (Epis., i.43). This was exceptional.

7. Greek Church:

The Greek church has always baptized by triune immersion. The historical practice of the Christian church may well be summed up in the words of Dean Stanley: "There can be no question that the original form of baptism—the very meaning of the word—was complete immersion in the deep baptismal waters; and that for at least four centuries, any other form was either unknown, or regarded, unless in the case of dangerous illness, as an exceptional, almost monstrous case. .... A few drops of water are now the western substitute for the threefold plunge into the rushing river or the wide baptisteries of the East" (History of Eastern Church, 28). "For the first three centuries the most universal practice of baptism was .... that those who were baptized, were plunged, submerged, immersed into the water" (Christian Institutions, p. 21).



James Quinter, Triune Immersion as the Apostolic Form of Christian Baptism; C. F. Yoder, God’s Means of Grace, Brethren Pub. House, Elgin, Ill., U.S.A.; Smith, Dict. of Christian Antiquities; Hastings, ERE; Bible Dicts.; Church Fathers; Church Histories, and Histories of Baptism.

Daniel Webster Kurtz



1. The Term "Trinity"

2. Purely a Revealed Doctrine

3. No Rational Proof of It

4. Finds Support in Reason

5. Not Clearly Revealed in the Old Testament

6. Prepared for in the Old Testament

7. Presupposed Rather Than Inculcated in the New Testament

8. Revealed in Manifestation of Son and Spirit

9. Implied in the Whole New Testament

10. Conditions the Whole Teaching of Jesus

11. Father and Son in Johannine Discourses

12. Spirit in Johannine Discourses

13. The Baptismal Formula

14. Genuineness of Baptismal Formula

15. Paul’s Trinitarianism

16. Conjunction of the Three in Paul

17. Trinitarianism of Other New Testament Writers

18. Variations in Nomenclature

19. Implications of "Son" and "Spirit"

20. The Question of Subordination

21. Witness of the Christian Consciousness

22. Formulation of the Doctrine


1. The Term "Trinity":

The term "Trinity" is not a Biblical term, and we are not using Biblical language when we define what is expressed by it as the doctrine that there is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence. A doctrine so defined can be spoken of as a Biblical doctrine only on the principle that the sense of Scripture is Scripture. And the definition of a Biblical doctrine in such un-Biblical language can be justified only on the principle that it is better to preserve the truth of Scripture than the words of Scripture. The doctrine of the Trinity lies in Scripture in solution; when it is crystallized from its solvent it does not cease to be Scriptural, but only comes into clearer view. Or, to speak without figure, the doctrine of the Trinity is given to us in Scripture, not in formulated definition, but in fragmentary allusions; when we assemble the disjecta membra into their organic unity, we are not passing from Scripture, but entering more thoroughly into the meaning of Scripture. We may state the doctrine in technical terms, supplied by philosophical reflection; but the doctrine stated is a genuinely Scriptural doctrine.

2. Purely a Revealed Doctrine:

In point of fact, the doctrine of the Trinity is purely a revealed doctrine. That is to say, it embodies a truth which has never been discovered, and is indiscoverable, by natural reason. With all his searching, man has not been able to find out for himself the deepest things of God. Accordingly, ethnic thought has never attained a Trinitarian conception of God, nor does any ethnic religion present in its representations of the divine being any analogy to the doctrine of the Trinity.

Triads of divinities, no doubt, occur in nearly all polytheistic religions, formed under very various influences. Sometimes, as in the Egyptian triad of Osiris. Isis and Horus, it is the analogy of the human family with its father, mother and son which lies at their basis. Sometimes they are the effect of mere syncretism, three deities worshipped in different localities being brought together in the common worship of all. Sometimes, as in the Hindu triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, they represent the cyclic movement of a pantheistic evolution, and symbolize the three stages of Being, Becoming and Dissolution. Sometimes they are the result apparently of nothing more than an odd human tendency to think in threes, which has given the number three widespread standing as a sacred number (so H. Usener). It is no more than was to be anticipated, that one or another of these triads should now and again be pointed to as the replica (or even the original) of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Gladstone found the Trinity in the Homeric mythology, the trident of Poseidon being its symbol. Hegel very naturally found it in the Hindu Trimurti, which indeed is very like his pantheizing notion of what the Trinity is. Others have perceived it in the Buddhist Triratna (Soderblom); or (despite their crass dualism) in some speculations of Parseeism; or, more frequently, in the notional triad of Platonism (e.g. Knapp); while Jules Martin is quite sure that it is present in Philo’s neo-Stoical doctrine of the "powers," especially when applied to the explanation of Abraham’s three visitors. Of late years, eyes have been turned rather to Babylonia; and H. Zimmern finds a possible forerunner of the Trinity in a Father, Son, and Intercessor, which he discovers in its mythology. It should be needless to say that none of these triads has the slightest resemblance to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity embodies much more than the notion of "threeness," and beyond their "threeness" these triads have nothing in common with it.

3. No Rational Proof of It:

As the doctrine of the Trinity is indiscoverable by reason, so it is incapable of proof from reason. There are no analogies to it in Nature, not even in the spiritual nature of man, who is made in the image of God. In His trinitarian mode of being, God is unique; and, as there is nothing in the universe like Him in this respect, so there is nothing which can help us to comprehend Him. Many attempts have, nevertheless, been made to construct a rational proof of the Trinity of the God head. Among these there are two which are particularly attractive, and have therefore been put forward again and again by speculative thinkers through all the Christian ages. These are derived from the implications, in the one case, of self-consciousness; in the other, of love. Both self-consciousness and love, it is said, demand for their very existence an object over against which the self stands as subject. If we conceive of God as self-conscious and loving, therefore, we cannot help conceiving of Him as embracing in His unity some form of plurality. From this general position both arguments have been elaborated, however, by various thinkers in very varied forms.

The former of them, for example, is developed by a great 17th-century theologian—Bartholomew Keckermann (1614)—as follows: God is self-conscious thought; and God’s thought must have a perfect object, existing eternally before it; this object to be perfect must be itself God; and as God is one, this object which is God must be the God that is one. It is essentially the same argument which is popularized in a famous paragraph (section 73) of Lessing’s The Education of the Human Race. Must not God have an absolutely perfect representation of Himself—that is, a representation in which everything that is in Him is found? And would everything that is in God be found in this representation if His necessary reality were not found in it? If everything, everything without exception, that is in God is to be found in this representation, it cannot, therefore, remain a mere empty image, but must be an actual duplication of God. It is obvious that arguments like this prove too much. If God’s representation of Himself, to be perfect, must possess the same kind of reality that He Himself possesses, it does not seem easy to deny that His representations of everything else must possess objective reality. And this would be as much as to say that the eternal objective coexistence of all that God can conceive is given in the very idea of God; and that is open pantheism. The logical flaw lies in including in the perfection of a representation qualities which are not proper to representations, however perfect. A perfect representation must, of course, have all the reality proper to a representation; but objective reality is so little proper to a representation that a representation acquiring it would cease to be a representation. This fatal flaw is not transcended, but only covered up, when the argument is compressed, as it is in most of its modern presentations, in effect to the mere assertion that the condition of self-consciousness is a real distinction between the thinking subject and the thought object, which, in God’s case, would be between the subject ego and the object ego. Why, however, we should deny to God the power of self-contemplation enjoyed by every finite spirit, save at the cost of the distinct hypostatizing of the contemplant and the contemplated self, it is hard to understand. Nor is it always clear that what we get is a distinct hypostatization rather than a distinct substantializing of the contemplant and contemplated ego: not two persons in the Godhead so much as two Gods. The discovery of the third hypostasis—the Holy Spirit—remains meanwhile, to all these attempts rationally to construct a Trinity in the Divine Being, a standing puzzle which finds only a very artificial solution.

The case is much the same with the argument derived from the nature of love. Our sympathies go out to that old Valentinian writer—possibly it was Valentinus himself—who reasoned—perhaps he was the first so to reason—that "God is all love," "but love is not love unless there be an object of love." And they go out more richly still to Augustine, when, seeking a basis, not for a theory of emanations, but for the doctrine of the Trinity, he analyzes this love which God is into the triple implication of "the lover," "the loved" and "the love itself," and sees in this trinary of love an analogue of the Triune God. It requires, however, only that the argument thus broadly suggested should be developed into its details for its artificiality to become apparent. Richard of Victor works it out as follows: It belongs to the nature of amor that it should turn to another as caritas. This other, in God’s case, cannot be the world; since such love of the world would be inordinate. It can only be a person; and a person who is God’s equal in eternity, power and wisdom. Since, however, there cannot be two divine substances, these two divine persons must form one and the same substance. The best love cannot, however, confine itself to these two persons; it must become condilectio by the desire that a third should be equally loved as they love one another. Thus love, when perfectly conceived, leads necessarily to the Trinity, and since God is all He can be, this Trinity must be real. Modern writers (Sartorius, Schoberlein, J. Muller, Liebner, most lately R. H. Grutzmacher) do not seem to have essentially improved upon such a statement as this. And after all is said, it does not appear clear that God’s own all-perfect Being could not supply a satisfying object of His all-perfect love. To say that in its very nature love is self-communicative, and therefore implies an object other than self, seems an abuse of figurative language.

Perhaps the ontological proof of the Trinity is nowhere more attractively put than by Jonathan Edwards. The peculiarity of his presentation of it lies in an attempt to add plausibility to it by a doctrine of the nature of spiritual ideas or ideas of spiritual things, such as thought, love, fear, in general. Ideas of such things, he urges, are just repetitions of them, so that he who has an idea of any act of love, fear, anger or any other act or motion of the mind, simply so far repeats the motion in question; and if the idea be perfect and complete, the original motion of the mind is absolutely reduplicated. Edwards presses this so far that he is ready to contend that if a man could have an absolutely perfect idea of all that was in his mind at any past moment, he would really, to all intents and purposes, be over again what he was at that moment. And if he could perfectly contemplate all that is in his mind at any given moment, as it is and at the same time that it is there in its first and direct existence, he would really be two at that time, he would be twice at once: "The idea he has of himself would be himself again." This now is the case with the Divine Being. "God’s idea of Himself is absolutely perfect, and therefore is an express and perfect image of Him, exactly like Him in every respect. .... But that which is the express, perfect image of God and in every respect like HIm is God, to all intents and purposes, because there is nothing wanting: there is nothing in the Deity that renders it the Deity but what has something exactly answering to it in this image, which will therefore also render that the Deity." The Second Person of the Trinity being thus attained, the argument advances. "The Godhead being thus begotten of God’s loving (having?) an idea of Himself and showing forth in a distinct Subsistence or Person in that idea, there proceeds a most pure act, and an infinitely holy and sacred energy arises between the Father and the Son in mutually loving and delighting in each other. .... The Deity becomes all act, the divine essence itself flows out and is as it were breathed forth in love and joy. So that the Godhead therein stands forth in yet another manner of Subsistence, and there proceeds the Third Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, namely, the Deity in act, for there is no other act but the act of the will." The inconclusiveness of the reasoning lies on the surface. The mind does not consist in its states, and the repetition of its states would not, therefore, duplicate or triplicate it. If it did, we should have a plurality of Beings, not of Persons in one Being. Neither God’s perfect idea of Himself nor His perfect love of Himself reproduces Himself. He differs from His idea and His love of Himself precisely by that which distinguishes His Being from His acts. When it is said, then, that there is nothing in the Deity which renders it the Deity but what has something answering to it in its image of itself, it is enough to respond—except the Deity itself. What is wanting to the image to make it a second Deity is just objective reality.

4. Finds Support in Reason:

Inconclusive as all such reasoning is, however, considered as rational demonstration of the reality of the Trinity, it is very far from possessing no value. It carries home to us in a very suggestive way the superiority of the Trinitarian conception of God to the conception of Him as an abstract monad, and thus brings important rational support to the doctrine of the Trinity, when once that doctrine has been given us by revelation. If it is not quite possible to say that we cannot conceive of God as eternal self-consciousness and eternal love, without conceiving Him as a Trinity, it does seem quite necessary to say that when we conceive Him as a Trinity, new fullness, richness, force are given to our conception of Him as a self-conscious, loving Being, and therefore we conceive Him more adequately than as a monad, and no one who has ever once conceived Him as a Trinity can ever again satisfy himself with a monadistic conception of God. Reason thus not only performs the important negative service to faith in the Trinity, of showing the self-consistency of the doctrine and its consistency with other known truth, but brings this positive rational support to it of discovering in it the only adequate conception of God as self-conscious spirit and living love. Difficult, therefore, as the idea of the Trinity in itself is, it does not come to us as an added burden upon our intelligence; it brings us rather the solution of the deepest and most persistent difficulties in our conception of God as infinite moral Being, and illuminates, enriches and elevates all our thought of God. It has accordingly become a commonplace to say that Christian theism is the only stable theism. That is as much as to say that theism requires the enriching conception of the Trinity to give it a permanent hold upon the human mind—the mind finds it difficult to rest in the idea of an abstract unity for its God; and that the human heart cries out for the living God in whose Being there is that fullness of life for which the conception of the Trinity alone provides. 5. Not Clearly Revealed in the Old Testament:

So strongly is it felt in wide circles that a Trinitarian conception is essential to a worthy idea of God, that there is abroad a deep-seated unwillingness to allow that God could ever have made Himself known otherwise than as a Trinity. From this point of view it is inconceivable that the Old Testament revelation should know nothing of the Trinity. Accordingly, I. A. Dorner, for example, reasons thus: "If, however—and this is the faith of universal Christendom—a living idea of God must be thought in some way after a Trinitarian fashion, it must be antecedently probable that traces of the Trinity cannot be lacking in the Old Testament, since its idea of God is a living or historical one." Whether there really exist traces of the idea of the Trinity in the Old Testament, however, is a nice question. Certainly we cannot speak broadly of the revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity in the Old Testament. It is a plain matter of fact that none who have depended on the revelation embodied in the Old Testament alone have ever attained to the doctrine of the Trinity. It is another question, however, whether there may not exist in the pages of the Old Testament turns of expression or records of occurrences in which one already acquainted with the doctrine of the Trinity may fairly see indications of an underlying implication of it. The older writers discovered intimations of the Trinity in such phenomena as the plural form of the divine name ‘Elohim, the occasional employment with reference to God of plural pronouns ("Let us make man in our image," Ge 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8), or of plural verbs (Ge 20:13; 35:7), certain repetitions of the name of God which seem to distinguish between God and God (Ge 19:27; Ps 45:6,7; 110:1; Ho 1:7), threefold liturgical formulas (De 16:4; Nu 6:24,26; Isa 6:3), a certain tendency to hypostatize the conception of Wisdom (Pr 8), and especially the remarkable phenomena connected with the appearances of the Angel of Yahweh (Ge 16:2-13; 22:11,16; 31:11,13; 48:15,16; Ex 3:2,4,5; Jud 13:20-22). The tendency of more recent authors is to appeal, not so much to specific texts of the Old Testament, as to the very "organism of revelation" in the Old Testament, in which there is perceived an underlying suggestion "that all things owe their existence and persistence to a threefold cause," both with reference to the first creation, and, more plainly, with reference to the second creation. Passages like Ps 33:6; Isa 61:1; 63:9-12; Hag 2:5,6, in which God and His Word and His Spirit are brought together, co-causes of effects, are adduced. A tendency is pointed out to hypostatize the Word of God on the one hand (e.g. Ge 1:3; Ps 33:6; 107:20; 119:87; 147:15-18; Isa 55:11); and, especially in Ezekiel and the later Prophets, the Spirit of God, on the other (e.g. Ge 1:2; Isa 48:16; 63:10; Eze 2:2; 8:3; Zec 7:12). Suggestions—in Isaiah for instance (7:14; 9:6)—of the Deity of the Messiah are appealed to. And if the occasional occurrence of plural verbs and pronouns referring to God, and the plural form of the name ‘Elohim, are not insisted upon as in themselves evidence of a multiplicity in the Godhead, yet a certain weight is lent them as witnesses that "the God of revelation is no abstract unity, but the living, true God, who in the fullness of His life embraces the highest variety" (Bavinck). The upshot of it all is that it is very generally felt that, somehow, in the Old Testament development of the idea of God there is a suggestion that the Deity is not a simple monad, and that thus a preparation is made for the revelation of the Trinity yet to come. It would seem clear that we must recognize in the Old Testament doctrine of the relation of God to His revelation by the creative Word and the Spirit, at least the germ of the distinctions in the Godhead afterward fully made known in the Christian revelation. And we can scarcely stop there. After all is said, in the light of the later revelation, the Trinitarian interpretation remains the most natural one of the phenomena which the older writers frankly interpreted as intimations of the Trinity; especially of those connected with the descriptions of tile Angel of Yahweh, no doubt, but also even of such a form of expression as meets us in the "Let us make man in our image" of Ge 1:26—for surely 1:27: "And God created man in his own image," does not encourage us to take the preceding verse as announcing that man was to be created in the image of the angels. This is not an illegitimate reading of New Testament ideas back into the text of the Old Testament; it is only reading the text of the Old Testament under the illumination of the New Testament revelation. The Old Testament may be likened to a chamber richly furnished but dimly lighted; the introduction of light brings into it nothing which was not in it before; but it brings out into clearer view much of what is in it but was only dimly or even not at all perceived before. The mystery of the Trinity is not revealed in the Old Testament; but the mystery of the Trinity underlies the Old Testament revelation, and here and there almost comes into view. Thus, the Old Testament revelation of God is not corrected by the fuller revelation which follows it, but only perfected, extended and enlarged.

6. Prepared for in the Old Testament:

It is an old saying that what becomes patent in the New Testament was latent in the Old Testament. And it is important that the continuity of the revelation of God contained in the two Testaments should not be overlooked or obscured. If we find some difficulty in perceiving for ourselves, in the Old Testament, definite points of attachment for the revelation of the Trinity, we cannot help perceiving with great clearness in the New Testament abundant evidence that its writers felt no incongruity whatever between their doctrine of the Trinity and the Old Testament conception of God. The New Testament writers certainly were not conscious of being "setters forth of strange gods." To their own apprehension they worshipped and proclaimed just the God of Israel; and they laid no less stress than the Old Testament itself upon His unity (Joh 17:3; 1Co 8:4; 1Ti 2:5). They do not, then, place two new gods by the side of Yahweh, as alike with Him to be served and worshipped; they conceive Yahweh as Himself at once Father, Son and Spirit. In presenting this one Yahweh as Father, Son and Spirit, they do not even betray any lurking feeling that they are making innovations. Without apparent misgiving they take over Old Testament passages and apply them to Father, Son and Spirit indifferently. Obviously they understand themselves, and wish to be understood, as setting forth in the Father, Son and Spirit just the one God that the God of the Old Testament revelation is; and they are as far as possible from recognizing any breach between themselves and the Fathers in presenting their enlarged conception of the Divine Being. This may not amount to saying that they saw the doctrine of the Trinity everywhere taught in the Old Testament. It certainly amounts to saying that they saw the Triune God whom they worshipped in the God of the Old Testament revelation, and felt no incongruity in speaking of their Triune God in the terms of the Old Testament revelation. The God of the Old Testament was their God, and their God was a Trinity, and their sense of the identity of the two was so complete that no question as to it was raised in their minds.

7. Presupposed Rather Than Inculcated in the New Testament:

The simplicity and assurance with which the New Testament writers speak of God as a Trinity have, however, a further implication. If they betray no sense of novelty in so speaking of Him, this is undoubtedly in part because it was no longer a novelty so to speak of Him. It is clear, in other words, that, as we read the New Testament, we are not witnessing the birth of a new conception of God. What we meet with in its pages is a firmly established conception of God underlying and giving its tone to the whole fabric. It is not in a text here and there that the New Testament bears its testimony to the doctrine of the Trinity. The whole book is Trinitarian to the core; all its teaching is built on the assumption of the Trinity; and its allusions to the Trinity are frequent, cursory, easy and confident. It is with a view to the cursoriness of the allusions to it in the New Testament that it has been remarked that "the doctrine of the Trinity is not so much heard as overheard in the statements of Scripture." It would be more exact to say that it is not so much inculcated as presupposed. The doctrine of the Trinity does not appear in the New Testament in the making, but as already made. It takes its place in its pages, as Gunkel phrases it, with an air almost of complaint, already "in full completeness" (vollig fertig), leaving no trace of its growth. "There is nothing more wonderful in the history of human thought," says Sanday, with his eye on the appearance of the doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament, "than the silent and imperceptible way in which this doctrine, to us so difficult, took its place without struggle—and without controversy—among accepted Christian truths." The explanation of this remarkable phenomenon is, however, simple. Our New Testament is not a record of the development of the doctrine or of its assimilation. It everywhere presupposes the doctrine as the fixed possession of the Christian community; and the process by which it became the possession of the Christian community lies behind the New Testament.

8. Revealed in Manifestation of Son and Spirit:

We cannot speak of the doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, if we study exactness of speech, as revealed in the New Testament, any more than we can speak of it as revealed in the Old Testament. The Old Testament was written before its revelation; the New Testament after it. The revelation itself was made not in word but in deed. It was made in the incaration of God the Son, and the outpouring of God the Holy Spirit. The relation of the two Testaments to this revelation is in the one case that of preparation for it, and in the other that of product of it. The revelation itself is embodied just in Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is as much as to say that the revelation of the Trinity was incidental to, and the inevitable effect of, the accomplishment of redemption. It was in the coming of the Son of God in the likeness of sinful flesh to offer Himself a sacrifice for sin; and in the coming of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, that the Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead was once for all revealed to men. Those who knew God the Father, who loved them and gave His own Son to die for them; and the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved them and delivered Himself up an offering and sacrifice for them; and the Spirit of Grace, who loved them and dwelt within them a power not themselves, making for righteousness, knew the Triune God and could not think or speak of God otherwise than as triune. The doctrine of the Trinity, in other words, is simply the modification wrought in the conception of the one only God by His complete revelation of Himself in the redemptive process. It necessarily waited, therefore, upon the completion of the redemptive process for its revelation, and its revelation, as necessarily, lay complete in the redemptive process.

From this central fact we may understand more fully several circumstances connected with the revelation of the Trinity to which allusion has been made. We may from it understand, for example, why the Trinity was not revealed in the Old Testament. It may carry us a little way to remark, as it has been customary to remark since the time of Gregory of Nazianzus, that it was the task of the Old Testament revelation to fix firmly in the minds and hearts of the people of God the great fundamental truth of the unity of the Godhead; and it would have been dangerous to speak to them of the plurality within this unity until this task had been fully accomplished. The real reason for the delay in the revelation of the Trinity, however, is grounded in the secular development of the redemptive purpose of God: the times were ripe for the revelation of the Trinity in the unity of the Godhead until the fullness of the time had come for God to send forth His Son unto redemption, and His Spirit unto sanctification. The revelation in word must needs wait upon the revelation in fact, to which it brings its necessary explanation, no doubt, but from which also it derives its own entire significance and value. The revelation of a Trinity in the divine unity as a mere abstract truth without relation to manifested fact, and without significance to the development of the kingdom of God, would have been foreign to the whole method of the divine procedure as it lies exposed to us in the pages of Scripture. Here the working-out of the divine purpose supplies the fundamental principle to which all else, even the progressive stages of revelation itself, is subsidiary; and advances in revelation are ever closely connected with the advancing accomplishment of the redemptive purpose. We may understand also, however, from the same central fact, why it is that the doctrine of the Trinity lies in the New Testament rather in the form of allusions than in express teaching, why it is rather everywhere presupposed, coming only here and there into incidental expression, than formally inculcated. It is because the revelation, having been made in the actual occurrences of redemption, was already the common property of all Christian hearts. In speaking and writing to one another, Christians, therefore, rather spoke out of their common Trinitarian consciousness, and reminded one another of their common fund of belief, than instructed one another in what was already the common property of all. We are to look for, and we shall find, in the New Testament allusions to the Trinity, rather evidence of how the Trinity, believed in by all, was conceived by the authoritative teachers of the church, than formal attempts, on their part, by authoritative declarations, to bring the church into the understanding that God is a Trinity.

9. Implied in the Whole New Testament:

The fundamental proof that God is a Trinity is supplied thus by the fundamental revelation of the Trinity in fact: that is to say, in the incarnation of God the Son and the outpouring of God the Holy Spirit. In a word, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are the fundamental proof of the doctrine of the Trinity. This is as much as to say that all the evidence of whatever kind, and from whatever source derived, that Jesus Christ is God manifested in the flesh, and that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, is just so much evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity; and that when we go to the New Testament for evidence of the Trinity we are to seek it, not merely in the scattered allusions to the Trinity as such, numerous and instructive as they are, but primarily in the whole mass of evidence which the New Testament provides of the Deity of Christ and the divine personality of the Holy Spirit. When we have said this, we have said in effect that the whole mass of the New Testament is evidence for the Trinity. For the New Testament is saturated with evidence of the Deity of Christ and the divine personality of the Holy Spirit, Precisely what the New Testament is, is the documentation of the religion of the incarnate Son and of the outpoured Spirit, that is to say, of the religion of the Trinity, and what we mean by the doctrine of the Trinity is nothing but the formulation in exact language of the conception of God presupposed in the religion of the incarnate Son and outpoured Spirit. We may analyze this conception and adduce proof for every constituent element of it from the New Testament declarations. We may show that the New Testament everywhere insists on the unity of the Godhead; that it constantly recognizes the Father as God, the Son as God and the Spirit as God; and that it cursorily presents these three to us as distinct Persons. It is not necessary, however, to enlarge here on facts so obvious. We may content ourselves with simply observing that to the New Testament there is but one only living and true God; but that to it Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are each God in the fullest sense of the term; and yet Father, Son and Spirit stand over against each other as I, and Thou, and He. In this composite fact the New Testament gives us the doctrine of the Trinity. For the doctrine of the Trinity is but the statement in wellguarded language of this composite fact. Through out the whole course of the many efforts to formulate the doctrine exactly, which have followed one another during the entire history of the church, indeed, the principle which has ever determined the result has always been determination to do justice in conceiving the relations of God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit, on the one hand to the unity of God, and, on the other, to the true Deity of the Son and Spirit and their distinct personalities. When we have said these three things, then—that there is but one God, that the Father and the Son and the Spirit is each God, that the Father and the Son and the Spirit is each a distinct person—we have enunciated the doctrine of the Trinity in its completeness.

That this doctrine underlies the whole New Testament as its constant presupposition and determines everywhere its forms of expression is the primary fact to be noted. We must not omit explicitly to note, however, that it now and again also, as occasion arises for its incidental enunciation, comes itself to expression in more or less completeness of statement. The passages in which the three Persons of the Trinity are brought together are much more numerous than, perhaps, is generally supposed; but it should be recognized that the formal collocation of the elements of the doctrine naturally is relatively rare in writings which are occasional in their origin and practical rather than doctrinal in their immediate purpose. The three Persons already come into view as Divine Persons in the annunciation of the birth of our Lord: ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,’ said the angel to Mary, ‘and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is to be born shall be called the Son of God’ (Lu 1:35 margin; compare Mt 1:18 ff). Here the Holy Ghost is the active agent in the production of an effect which is also ascribed to the power of the Most High, and the child thus brought into the world is given the great designation of "Son of God." The three Persons are just as clearly brought before us in the account of Matthew (1:18 ff), though the allusions to them are dispersed through a longer stretch of narrative, in the course of which the Deity of the child is twice intimated (1:21: ‘It is He that shall save His people from their sins’; 1:23: ‘They shall call His name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God-with-us’) In the baptismal scene which finds record by all the evangelists at the opening of Jesus’ ministry (Mt 3:16,17; Mr 1:10,11; Lu 3:21,22; Joh 1:32-34), the three Persons are thrown up to sight in a dramatic picture in which the Deity of each is strongly emphasized. From the open heavens the Spirit descends in visible form, and ‘a voice came out of the heavens, Thou art my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.’ Thus care seems to have been taken to make the advent of the Son of God into the world the revelation also of the Triune God, that the minds of men might as smoothly as possible adjust themselves to the preconditions of the divine redemption which was in process of being wrought out.

10. Conditions the Whole Teaching of Jesus:

With this as a starting-point, the teaching of Jesus is conditioned throughout in a Trinitarian way. He has much to say of God His Father, from whom as His Son He is in some true sense distinct, and with whom He is in some equally true sense one. And He has much to say of the Spirit, who represents Him as He represents the Father, and by whom He works as the Father works by Him. It is not merely in the Gospel of John that such representations occur in the teaching of Jesus. In the Synoptics, too, Jesus claims a Sonship to God which is unique (Mt 11:27; 24:36; Mr 13:32; Lu 10:22; in the following passages the title of "Son of God" is attributed to Him and accepted by Him: Mt 4:6; 8:29; 14:33; 27:40,43,44; Mr 3:11; 12:6-8; 15:39; Lu 4:41; 22:70; compare Joh 1:34,49; 9:35; 11:27), and which involves an absolute community between the two in knowledge, say, and power: both Matthew (11:27) and Luke (10:22) record His great declaration that He knows the Father and the Father knows Him with perfect mutual knowledge: "No one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth any know the Father, save the Son." In the Synoptics, too, Jesus speaks of employing the Spirit of God Himself for the performance of His works, as if the activities of God were at His disposal: "I by the Spirit of God"—or as Luke has it, "by the finger of God—cast out demons" (Mt 12:28; Lu 11:20; compare the promise of the Spirit in Mr 13:11; Lu 12:12).

11. Father and Son in Johannine Discourses:

It is in the discourses recorded in John, however, that Jesus most copiously refers to the unity of Himself, as the Son, with the Father, and to the mission of the Spirit from Himself as the dispenser of the divine activities. Here He not only with great directness declares that He and the Father are one (10:30; compare 17:11,21,22,25) with a unity of interpenetration ("The Father is in me, and I in the Father," 10:38; compare 16:10,11), so that to have seen Him was to have seen the Father (14:9; compare 15:21); but He removes all doubt as to the essential nature of His oneness with the Father by explicitly asserting His eternity ("Before Abraham was born, I am," Joh 8:58), His co-eternity with God ("had with thee before the world was," 17:5; compare 17:18; 6:62), His eternal participation in the divine glory itself ("the glory which I had with thee," in fellowship, community with Thee "before the world was," 17:5). So clear is it that in speaking currently of Himself as God’s Son (5:25; 9:35; 11:4; compare 10:36), He meant, in accordance with the underlying significance of the idea of sonship in Semitic speech (founded on the natural implication that whatever the father is that the son is also; compare 16:15; 17:10), to make Himself, as the Jews with exact appreciation of His meaning perceived, "equal with God" (5:18), or, to put it brusquely, just "God" (10:33). How He, being thus equal or rather identical with God, was in the world, He explains as involving a coming forth (exelthon) on His part, not merely from the presence of God (apo, 16:30; compare 13:3) or from fellowship with God (para, 16:27; 17:8), but from out of God Himself (ek, 8:42; 16:28). And in the very act of thus asserting that His eternal home is in the depths of the Divine Being, He throws up, into as strong an emphasis as stressed pronouns can, convey, His personal distinctness from the Father. ‘If God were your Father,’ says Hebrews (8:42), ‘ye would love me: for I came forth and am come out of God; for neither have I come of myself, but it was He that sent me.’ Again, He says (Joh 16:26,27): ‘In that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you that I will make request of the Father for you; for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that it was from fellowship with the Father that I came forth; I came from out of the Father, and have come into the world.’ Less pointedly, but still distinctly, He says again (Joh 17:8): They know of a truth that it was from fellowship with Thee that I came forth, and they believed that it was Thou that didst send me.’ It is not necessary to illustrate more at large a form of expression so characteristic of the discourses of our Lord recorded by Joh that it meets us on every page: a form of expression which combines a clear implication of a unity of Father and Son which is identity of Being, and an equally clear implication of a distinction of Person between them such as allows not merely for the play of emotions between them, as, for instance, of love (Joh 17:24; compare 15:9 (3:35); 14:31), but also of an action and reaction upon one another which argues a high measure, if not of exteriority, yet certainly of exteriorization. Thus, to instance only one of the most outstanding facts of our Lord’s discourses (not indeed confined to those in John’s Gospel, but found also in His sayings recorded in the Synoptists, as e.g. Lu 4:43 (compare parallel Mr 1:38); Lu 9:48; 10:16; 4:34; 5:32; 7:19; 19:10), He continually represents Himself as on the one hand sent by God, and as, on the other, having come forth from the Father (e.g. Joh 8:42; 10:36; 17:3; 5:23, et saepe).

12. Spirit in Johannine Discourses:

It is more important to point out that these phenomena of interrelationship are not confined to the Father and Son, but are extended also to the Spirit. Thus, for example, in a context in which our Lord had emphasized in the strongest manner His own essential unity and continued interpenetration with the Father (" If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also"; "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father"; "I am in the Father, and the Father in me"; "The Father abiding in me doeth his works," Joh 14:7,9,10), we read as follows (Joh 14:16-26): ‘And I will make request of the Father, and He shall ive you another (thus sharply distinguished from Our lord as a distinct Person) Advocate, that He may be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth .... He abideth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I come unto you. .... In that day ye shall know that I am in the Father. .... If a man love me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him and we (that is, both Father and Son) will come unto him and make our abode with him. .... These things have I spoken unto you while abiding with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.’ It would be impossible to speak more distinctly of three who were yet one. The Father, Son and Spirit are constantly distinguished from one another—the Son makes request of the Father, and the Father in response to this request gives an Advocate, "another" than the Son, who is sent in the Son’s name. And yet the oneness of these three is so kept in sight that the coming of this "another Advocate" is spoken of without embarrassment as the coming of the Son Himself (Joh 14:18,19,20,21), and indeed as the coming of the Father and the Son (Joh 14:23). There is a sense, then, in which, when Christ goes away, the Spirit comes in His stead; there is also a sense in which, when the Spirit comes, Christ comes in Him; and with Christ’s coming the Father comes too. There is a distinction between the Persons brought into view; and with it an identity among them; for both of which allowance must be made. The same phenomena meet us in other passages. Thus, we read again (Joh 15:26): But when there is come the Advocate whom I will send unto you from (fellowship with) the Father, the Spirit of Truth, which goeth forth from (fellowship with) the Father, He shall bear witness of me.’ In the compass of this single verse, it is intimated that the Spirit is personally distinct from the Son, and yet, like Him, has His eternal home (in fellowship) with the Father, from whom He, like the Son, comes forth for His saving work, being sent thereunto, however, not in this instance by the Father, but by the Son.

This last feature is even more strongly emphasized in yet another passage in which the work of the Spirit in relation to the Son is presented as closely parallel with the work of the Son in relation to the Father (Joh 16:5 ).‘ But now I go unto Him that sent me .... Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for, if I go not away the Advocate will not come unto you; but if I go I will send Him unto you. And He, after He is come, will convict the world .... of righteousness because I go to the Father and ye behold me no more. .... I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He shall guide you into all the truth; for He shall not speak from Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak, and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I that He taketh of mine, and shall declare it unto you.’ Here the Spirit is sent by the Son, and comes in order to complete and apply the Son’s work, receiving His whole commission from the Son—not, however, in derogation of the Father, because when we speak of the things of the Son, that is to speak of the things of the Father.

It is not to be said, of course, that the doctrine of the Trinity is formulated in passages like these, with which the whole mass of our Lord’s discourses in John are strewn; but it certainly is presupposed in them, and that is, considered from the point of view of their probative force, even better. As we read we are kept in continual contact with three Persons who act, each as a distinct person, and yet who are in a deep, underlying sense, one. There is but one God—there is never any question of that—and yet this Son who has been sent into the world by God not only represents God but is God, and this Spirit whom the Son has in turn sent unto the world is also Himself God. Nothing could be clearer than that the Son and Spirit are distinct Persons, unless indeed it be that the Son of God is just God the Son and the Spirit of God just God the Spirit.

13. The Baptismal Formula:

Meanwhile, the nearest approach to a formal announcement of the doctrine of the Trinity which is recorded from our Lord’s lips, or, perhaps we may say, which is to be found in the whole compass of the New Testament, has been preserved for us, not by John, but by one of the synoptists. It too, however, is only incidentally introduced, and has for its main object something very different from formulating the doctrine of the Trinity. It is embodied in the great commission which the resurrected Lord gave His disciples to be their "marching orders" "even unto the end of the world": "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19). In seeking to estimate the significance of this great declaration, we must bear in mind the high solemnity of the utterance, by which we are required to give its full value to every word of it. Its phrasing is in any event, however, remarkable. It does not say, "In the names (plural) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost"; nor yet (what might be taken to be equivalent to that), "In the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Ghost," as if we had to deal with three separate Beings. Nor, on the other hand does it say, "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost," as if "the Father, Son and Holy Ghost" might be taken as merely three designations of a single person. With stately impressiveness it asserts the unity of the three by combining them all within the bounds of the single Name; and then throws up into emphasis the distinctness of each by introducing them in turn with the repeated article: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (the King James Version). These three, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, each stand in some clear sense over against the others in distinct personality: these three, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, all unite in some profound sense in the common participation of the one Name. Fully to comprehend the implication of this mode of statement, we must bear in mind, further, the significance of the term, "the name," and the associations laden with which it came to the recipients of this commission. For the Hebrew did not think of the name, as we are accustomed to do, as a mere external symbol; but rather as the adequate expression of the innermost being of its bearer. In His Name the Being of God finds expression; and the Name of God—"this glorious and fearful name, Yahweh thy God" (De 28:58)—was accordingly a most sacred thing, being indeed virtually equivalent to God Himself. It is no solecism, therefore, when we read (Isa 30:27), "Behold, the name of Yahweh cometh"; and the parallelisms are most instructive when we read (Isa 59:19): ‘So shall they fear the Name of Yahweh from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; for He shall come as a stream pent in which the Spirit of Yahweh driveth.’ So pregnant was the implication of the Name, that it was possible for the term to stand absolutely, without adjunction of the name itself, as the sufficient representative of the majesty of Yahweh: it was a terrible thing to ‘blaspheme the Name’ (Le 24:11). All those over whom Yahweh’s Name was called were His, His possession to whom He owed protection. It is for His Name’s sake, therefore, that afflicted Judah cries to the Hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in time of trouble: ‘O Yahweh, Thou art in the midst of us, and Thy Name is called upon us; leave us not’ (Jer 14:9); and His people find the appropriate expression of their deepest shame in the lament, ‘We have become as they over whom Thou never barest rule; as they upon whom Thy Name was not called’ (Isa 63:19); while the height of joy is attained in the cry, ‘Thy Name, Yahweh, God of Hosts, is called upon me’ (Jer 15:16; compare 2Ch 7:14; Da 9:18,19). When, therefore, our Lord commanded His disciples to baptize those whom they brought to His obedience "into the name of ....," He was using language charged to them with high meaning. He could not have been understood otherwise than as substituting for the Name of Yahweh this other Name "of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"; and this could not ‘possibly have meant to His disciples anything else than that Yahweh was now to be known to them by the new Name, of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The only alternative would have been that, for the community which He was rounding, Jesus was supplanting Yahweh by a new God; and this alternative is no less than monstrous. There is no alternative, therefore, to understanding Jesus here to be giving for His community a new Name to Yahweh, and that new Name to be the threefold Name of "the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost." Nor is there room for doubt that by "the Son" in this threefold Name, He meant just Himself with all the implications of distinct personality which this carries with it; and, of course, that further carries with it the equally distinct personality of "the Father" and "the Holy Ghost," with whom "the Son" is here associated, and from whom alike "the Son" is here distinguished. This is a direct ascription to Yahweh, the God of Israel, of a threefold personality, and is therewith the direct enunciation of the doctrine of the Trinity. We are not witnessing here the birth of the doctrine of the Trinity; that is presupposed. What we are witnessing is the authoritative announcement of the Trinity as the God of Christianity by its Founder, in one of the most solemn of His recorded declarations. Israel had worshipped the one only true God under the Name of Yahweh; Christians are to worship the same one only and true God under the Name of "the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost." This is the distinguishing characteristic of Christians; and that is as much as to say that the doctrine of the Trinity is, according to our Lord’s own apprehension of it, the distinctive mark of the religion which He founded.

14. Genuineness of Baptismal Formula:

A passage of such range of implication has, of course, not escaped criticism and challenge. An attempt which cannot be characterized as other than frivolous has even been made to dismiss it from the text of Matthew’s Gospel. Against this, the whole body of external evidence cries out; and the internal evidence is of itself not less decisive to the same effect. When the "universalism," "ecclesiasticism," and "high theology" of the passage are pleaded against its genuineness, it is forgotten that to the Jesus of Matthew there are attributed not only such parables as those of the Leaven and the Mustard Seed, but such declarations as those contained in 8:11,12; 21:43; 24:14; that in this Gospel alone is Jesus recorded as speaking familiarly about His church (16:18; 18:17); and that, after the great declaration of 11:27 if, nothing remained in lofty attribution to be assigned to Him. When these same objections are urged against recognizing the passage as an authentic saying of Jesus own, it is quite obvious that the Jesus of the evangelists cannot be in mind. The declaration here recorded is quite in character with the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel, as has just been intimated; and no less with the Jesus of the whole New Testament transmission. It will scarcely do, first to construct a priori a Jesus to our own liking, and then to discard as "unhistorical" all in the New Testament transmission which would be unnatural to such a Jesus. It is not these discarded passages but our a priori Jesus which is unhistorical. In the present instance, moreover, the historicity of the assailed saying is protected by an important historical relation in which it stands. It is not merely Jesus who speaks out of a Trinitarian consciousness, but all the New Testament writers as well. The universal possession by. His followers of so firm a hold on such a doctrine requires the assumption that some such teaching as is here attributed to Him was actually contained in Jesus’ instructions to His followers. Even had it not been attributed to Him in so many words by the record, we should have had to assume that some such declaration had been made by Him. In these circumstances, there can be no good reason to doubt that it was made by Him, when it is expressly attributed to Him by the record.

15. Paul’s Trinitarianism:

When we turn from the discourses of Jesus to the writings of His followers with a view to observing how the assumption of the doctrine of the Trinity underlies their whole fabric also, we naturally go first of all to the letters of Paul. Their very mass is impressive; and the definiteness with which their composition within a generation of the death of Jesus may be fixed adds importance to them as historical witnesses. Certainly they leave nothing to be desired in the richness of their testimony to the Trinitarian conception of God which underlies them. Throughout the whole series, from 1 Thessalonians, which comes from about 52 AD, to 2 Timothy, which was written about 68 AD, the redemption, which it is their one business to proclaim and commend, and all the blessings which enter into it or accompany it are referred consistently to a threefold divine causation. Everywhere, throughout their pages, God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit appear as the joint objects of all religious adoration, and the conjunct source of all divine operations. In the freedom of the allusions which are made to them, now and again one alone of the three is thrown up into prominent view; but more often two of them are conjoined in thanksgiving or prayer; and not infrequently all three are brought together as the apostle strives to give some adequate expression to his sense of indebtedness to the divine source of all good for blessings received, or to his longing on behalf of himself or of his readers for further communion with the God of grace. It is regular for him to begin his Epistles with a prayer for "grace and peace" for his readers, "from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ," as the joint source of these divine blessings by way of eminence (Ro 1:7; 1Co 1:3; 2Co 1:2; Ga 1:3; Eph 1:2; Php 1:2; 2Th 1:2; 1Ti 1:2; 2Ti 1:2; Phm 1:3; compare 1Th 1:1). It is obviously no departure from this habit in the essence of the matter, but only in relative fullness of expression, when in the opening words of the Epistle to the Colossians, the clause "and the Lord Jesus Christ" is omitted, and we read merely: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father." So also it would have been no departure from it in the essence of the matter, but only in relative fullness of expression, if in any instance the name of the Holy Spirit had chanced to be adjoined to the other two, as in the single instance of 2Co 13:14 it is adjoined to them in the closing prayer for grace with which Paul ends his letters, and which ordinarily takes the simple form of, "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you" (Ro 16:20; 1Co 16:23; Ga 6:18; Php 4:23; 1Th 5:28; 2Th 3:18; Phm 1:25; more expanded form, Eph 6:23,24; more Compressed, Col 4:18; 1Ti 6:21; 2Ti 4:22; Tit 3:15). Between these opening and closing passages the allusions to God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are constant and most intricately interlaced. Paul’s monotheism is intense: the first premise of all his thought on divine things is the unity of God (Ro 3:30; 1Co 8:4; Ga 3:20; Eph 4:6; 1Ti 2:5; compare Ro 16:22; 1Ti 1:17). Yet to him God the Father is no more God than the Lord Jesus Christ is God, or the Holy Spirit is God. The Spirit of God is to him related to God as the spirit of man is to man (1Co 2:11), and therefore if the Spirit of God dwells in us, that is God dwelling in us (Ro 8:10 ), and we are by that fact constituted temples of God (1Co 3:16). And no expression is too strong for him to use in order to assert the Godhead of Christ: He is "our great God" (Tit 2:13); He is "God over all" (Ro 9:5); and indeed it is expressly declared of Him that the "fulness of the Godhead, that is, everything that enters into Godhead and constitutes it Godhead, dwells in Him. In the very act of asserting his monotheism Paul takes our Lord up into this unique Godhead. "There is no God but one" he roundly asserts, and then illustrates and proves this assertion by remarking that the heathen may have "gods many, and lords many," but "to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him" (1Co 8:6). Obviously, this "one God, the Father," and "one Lord, Jesus Christ," are embraced together in the one God who alone is. Paul’s conception of the one God, whom alone he worships, includes, in other words, a recognition that within the unity of His Being, there exists such a distinction of Persons as is given us in the "one God, the Father" and the "one Lord, Jesus Christ."


16. Conjunction of the Three in Paul:

In numerous passages scattered through Paul’s Epistles, from the earliest of them (1Th 1:2-5; 2Th 2:13,14) to the latest (Tit 3:4-6; 2Ti 1:3,13,14), all three Persons, God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, are brought together, in the most incidental manner, as co-sources of all the saving blessings which come to believers in Christ. A typical series of such passages may be found in Eph 2:18; 3:2-5,14,17; 4:4-6; 5:18-20. But the most interesting instances are offered to us perhaps by the Epistles to the Corinthians. In 1Co 12:4-6 Paul presents the abounding spiritual gifts with which the church was blessed in a threefold aspect, and connects these aspects with the three Divine Persons. "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all." It may be thought that there is a measure of what might almost be called artificiality in assigning the endowments of the church, as they are graces to the Spirit, as they are services to Christ, and as they are energizings to God. But thus there is only the more strikingly revealed the underlying Trinitarian conception as dominating the structure of the clauses: Paul clearly so writes, not because "gifts," "workings," "operations" stand out in his thought as greatly diverse things, but because God, the Lord, and the Spirit lie in the back of his mind constantly suggesting a threefold causality behind every manifestation of grace. The Trinity is alluded to rather than asserted; but it is so alluded to as to show that it constitutes the determining basis of all Paul’s thought of the God of redemption. Even more instructive is 2Co 13:14, which has passed into general liturgical use in the churches as a benediction: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." Here the three highest redemptive blessings are brought together, and attached distributively to the three Persons of the Triune God. There is again no formal teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity; there is only another instance of natural speaking out of a Trinitarian consciousness. Paul is simply thinking of the divine source of these great blessings; but he habitually thinks of this divine source of redemptive blessings after a trinal fashion. He therefore does not say, as he might just as well have said, "The grace and love and communion of God be with you all," but "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." Thus he bears, almost unconsciously but most richly, witness to the trinal composition of the Godhead as conceived by Him.

17. Trinitarianism of Other New Testament Writers:

The phenomena of Paul’s Epistles are repeated in the other writings of the New Testament. In these other writings also it is everywhere assumed that the redemptive activities of God rest on a threefold source in God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit; and these three Persons repeatedly come forward together in the expressions of Christian hope or the aspirations of Christian devotion (e.g. Heb 2:3,4; 6:4-6; 10:29-31; 1Pe 1:2; 2:3-12; 4:13-19; 1Joh 5:4-8; Jude 1:20,21; Re 14-6). Perhaps as typical instances as any are supplied by the two following: "According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (1Pe 1:2); "Praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jude 1:20,21). To these may be added the highly symbolical instance from the Apocalypse: ‘Grace to you and peace from Him which is and was and which is to come; and from the Seven Spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth’ (Re 1:4,5). Clearly these writers, too, write out of a fixed Trinitarian consciousness and bear their testimony to the universal understanding current in apostolical circles. Everywhere and by all it was fully understood that the one God whom Christians worshipped and from whom alone they expected redemption and all that redemption brought with it, included within His undiminished unity the three: God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, whose activities relatively to one another are conceived as distinctly personal. This is the uniform and pervasive testimony of the New Testament, and it is the more impressive that it is given with such unstudied naturalness and simplicity, with no effort to distinguish between what have come to be called the ontological and the economical aspects of the Trinitarian distinctions, and indeed without apparent consciousness of the existence of such a distinction of aspects. Whether God is thought of in Himself or in His operations, the underlying conception runs unaffectedly into trinal forms.

18. Variations in Nomenclature:

It will not have escaped observation that the Trinitarian terminology of Paul and the other writers of the New Testament is not precisely identical with that of our Lord as recorded for us in His discourses. Paul, for example—and the same is true of the other New Testament writers (except John)—does not speak, as our Lord is recorded as speaking, of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, so much as of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. This difference of terminology finds its account in large measure in the different relations in which the speakers stand to the Trinity. our Lord could not naturally speak of Himself, as one of the Trinitarian Persons, by the designation of "the Lord," while the designation of "the Son," expressing as it does His consciousness of close relation, and indeed of exact similarity, to God, came naturally to His lips. But He was Paul’s Lord; and Paul naturally thought and spoke of Him as such. In point of fact, "Lord" is one of Paul’s favorite designations of Christ, and indeed has become with him practically a proper name for Christ, and in point of fact, his Divine Name for Christ. It is naturally, therefore, his Trinitarian name for Christ. Because when he thinks of Christ as divine he calls Him "Lord," he naturally, when he thinks of the three Persons together as the Triune God, sets Him as "Lord" by the side of God—Paul’s constant name for "the Father"—and the Holy Spirit. Question may no doubt be raised whether it would have been possible for Paul to have done this, especially with the constancy with which he has done it, if, in his conception of it, the very essence of the Trinity were enshrined in the terms "Father" and "Son." Paul is thinking of the Trinity, to be sure, from the point of view of a worshipper, rather than from that of a systematizer. He designates the Persons of the Trinity therefore rather from his relations to them than from their relations to one another. He sees in the Trinity his God, his Lord, and the Holy Spirit who dwells in him; and naturally he so speaks currently of the three Persons. It remains remarkable, nevertheless, if the very essence of the Trinity were thought of by him as resident in the terms "Father," "Son," that in his numerous allusions to the Trinity in the Godhead, he never betrays any sense of this. It is noticeable also that in their allusions to the Trinity, there is preserved, neither in Paul nor in the other writers of the New Testament, the order of the names as they stand in our Lord’s great declaration (Mt 28:19). The reverse order occurs, indeed, occasionally, as, for example, in 1Co 12:4-6 (compare Eph 4:4-6); and this may be understood as a climactic arrangement and so far a testimony to the order of Mt 28:19. But the order is very variable; and in the most formal enumeration of the three Persons, that of 2Co 13:14, it stands thus: Lord, God, Spirit. The question naturally suggests itself whether the order Father, Son, Spirit was especially significant to Paul and his fellow-writers of the New Testament. If in their conviction the very essence of the doctrine of the Trinity was embodied in this order, should we not anticipate that there should appear in their numerous allusions to the Trinity some suggestion of this conviction?

19. Implications of "Son" and "Spirit":

Such facts as these have a bearing upon the testimony of the New Testament to the interrelations of the Persons of the Trinity. To the fact of the Trinity—to the fact, that is, that in the unity of the Godhead there subsist three Persons, each of whom has his particular part in the working out of salvation—the New Testament testimony is clear, consistent, pervasive and conclusive. There is included in this testimony constant and decisive witness to the complete and undiminished Deity of each of these Persons; no language is too exalted to apply to each of them in turn in the effort to give expression to the writer’s sense of His Deity: the name that is given to each is fully understood to be "the name that is above every name." When we attempt to press the inquiry behind the broad fact, however, with a view to ascertaining exactly how the New Testament writers conceive the three Persons to be related, the one to the other, we meet with great difficulties. Nothing could seem more natural, for example, than to assume that the mutual relations of the Persons of the Trinity are revealed in the designations, "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," which are given them by our Lord in the solemn formula of Mt 28:19. Our confidence in this assumption is somewhat shaken, however, when we observe, as we have just observed, that these designations are not carefully preserved in their allusions to the Trinity by the writers of the New Testament at large, but are characteristic only of our Lord’s allusions and those of John, whose modes of speech in general very closely resemble those of our Lord. Our confidence is still further shaken when we observe that the implications with respect to the mutual relations of the Trinitarian Persons, which are ordinarily derived from these designations, do not so certainly lie in them as is commonly supposed.

It may be very natural to see in the designation "Son" an intimation of subordination and derivation of Being, and it may not be difficult to ascribe a similar connotation to the term "Spirit." But it is quite certain that this was not the denotation of either term in the Semitic consciousness, which underlies the phraseology of Scripture; and it may even be thought doubtful whether it was included even in their remoter suggestions. What underlies the conception of sonship in Scriptural speech is just "likeness"; whatever the father is that the son is also. The emphatic application of the term "Son" to one of the Trinitarian Persons, accordingly, asserts rather His equality with the Father than His subordination to the Father; and if there is any implication of derivation in it, it would appear to be very distant. The adjunction of the adjective "only begotten" (Joh 1:14; 3:16-18; 1 Joh 4:9) need add only the idea of uniqueness, not of derivation (Ps 22:21; 25:16; 35:17; The Wisdom of Solomon 7:22 margin); and even such a phrase as "God only begotten" (Joh 1:18 margin) may contain no implication of derivation, but only of absolutely unique consubstantiality; as also such a phrase as ‘the first-begotten of all creation’ (Col 1:15) may convey no intimation of coming into being, but merely assert priority of existence. In like manner, the designation "Spirit of God" or "Spirit of Yahweh," which meets us frequently in the Old Testament, certainly does not convey the idea there either of derivation or of subordination, but is just the executive name of God—the designation of God from the point of view of His activity—and imports accordingly identity with God; and there is no reason to suppose that, in passing from the Old Testament to the New Testament, the term has taken on an essentially different meaning. It happens, oddly enough, moreover, that we have in the New Testament itself what amounts almost to formal definitions of the two terms "Son" and "Spirit," and in both cases the stress is laid on the notion of equality or sameness. In Joh 5:18 we read: ‘On this account, therefore, the Jews sought the more to kill him, because, not only did he break the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal to God.’ The point lies, of course, in the adjective "own." Jesus was, rightly, understood to call God "his own Father," that is, to use the terms "Father" and "Son" not in a merely figurative sense, as when Israel was called God’s son, but in the real sense. And this was understood to be claiming to be all that God is. To be the Son of God in any sense was to be like God in that sense; to be God’s own Son was to be exactly like God, to be "equal with God." Similarly, we read in 1Co 2:10,11: ‘For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who of men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.’ Here the Spirit appears as the substrate of the divine self-consciousness, the principle of God’s knowledge of Himself: He is, in a word, just God Himself in the innermost essence of His Being. As the spirit of man is the seat of human life, the very life of man itself, so the Spirit of God is His very life-element. How can He be supposed, then, to be subordinate to God, or to derive His Being from God? If, however, the subordination of the Son and Spirit to the Father in modes of subsistence and their derivation from the Father are not implicates of their designation as Son and Spirit, it will be hard to find in the New Testament compelling evidence of their subordination and derivation.

20. The Question of Surbordination:

There is, of course, no question that in "modes of operation," as it is technically called—that is to say, in the functions ascribed to the several persons of the Trinity in the redemptive process, and, more broadly, in the entire dealing of God with the world—the principle of subordination is clearly expressed. The Father is first, the Son is second, and the Spirit is third, in the operations of God as revealed to us in general, and very especially in those operations by which redemption is accomplished. Whatever the Father does, He does through the Son (Ro 2:16; 3:22; 5:1,11,17,21; Eph 1:5; 1Th 5:9; Tit 3:5) by the Spirit. The Son is sent by the Father and does His Father’s will (Joh 6:38); the Spirit is sent by the Son and does not speak from Himself, but only takes of Christ’s and shows it unto His people (Joh 17:7 ); and we have our Lord’s own word for it that ‘one that is sent is not greater than he that sent him’ (Joh 13:16). In crisp decisiveness, our Lord even declares, indeed: ‘My Father is greater than I’ (Joh 14:28); and Paul tells us that Christ is God’s, even as we are Christ’s (1Co 3:23), and that as Christ is "the head of every man," so God is "the head of Christ" (1Co 11:3). But it is not so clear that the principle of subordination rules also in "modes of subsistence," as it is technically phrased; that is to say, in the necessary relation of the Persons of the Trinity to one another. The very richness and variety of the expression of their subordination, the one to the other, in modes of operation, create a difficulty in attaining certainty whether they are represented as also subordinate the one to the other in modes of subsistence. Question is raised in each case of apparent intimation of subordination in modes of subsistence, whether it may not, after all, be explicable as only another expression of subordination in modes of operation. It may be natural to assume that a subordination in modes of operation rests on a subordination in modes of subsistence; that the reason why it is the Father that sends the Son and the Son that sends the Spirit is that the Son is subordinate to the Father, and the Spirit to the Son. But we are bound to bear in mind that these relations of subordination in modes of operation may just as well be due to a convention, an agreement, between the Persons of the Trinity—a "Covenant" as it is technically called—by virtue of which a distinct function in the work of redemption is voluntarily assumed by each. It is eminently desirable, therefore, at the least, that some definite evidence of subordination in modes of subsistence should be discoverable before it is assumed. In the case of the relation of the Son to the Father, there is the added difficulty of the incarnation, in which the Son, by the assumption of a creaturely nature into union with Himself, enters into new relations with the Father of a definitely subordinate character. Question has even been raised whether the very designations of Father and Son may not be expressive of these new relations, and therefore without significance with respect to the eternal relations of the Persons so designated. This question must certainly be answered in the negative. Although, no doubt, in many of the instances in which the terms "Father" and "Son" occur, it would be possible to take them of merely economical relations, there ever remain some which are intractable to this treatment, and we may be sure that "Father" and "Son" are applied to their eternal and necessary relations. But these terms, as we have seen, do not appear to imply relations of first and second, superiority and subordination, in modes of subsistence; and the fact of the humiliation of the Son of God for His earthly work does introduce a factor into the interpretation of the passages which import His subordination to the Father, which throws doubt upon the inference from them of an eternal relation of subordination in the Trinity itself. It must at least be said that in the presence of the great New Testament doctrines of the Covenant of Redemption on the one hand, and of the Humiliation of the Son of God for His work’s sake and of the Two Natures in the constitution of His Person as incarnated, on the other, the difficulty of interpreting subordinationist passages of eternal relations between the Father and Son becomes extreme. The question continually obtrudes itself, whether they do not rather find their full explanation in the facts embodied in the doctrines of the Covenant, the Humiliation of Christ, and the Two Natures of His incarnated Person. Certainly in such circumstances it were thoroughly illegitimate to press such passages to suggest any subordination for the Son or the Spirit which would in any manner impair that complete identity with the Father in Being and that complete equality with the Father in powers which are constantly presupposed, and frequently emphatically, though only incidentally, asserted for them throughout the whole fabric of the New Testament.

21. Witness of the Christian Consciousness:

The Trinity of the Persons of the Godhead, shown in the incarnation and the redemptive work of God the Son, and the descent and saving work of God the Spirit, is thus everywhere assumed in the New Testament, and comes to repeated fragmentary but none the less emphatic and illuminating expression in its pages. As the roots of its revelation are set in the threefold divine causality of the saving process, it naturally finds an echo also in the consciousness of everyone who has experienced this salvation. Every redeemed soul, knowing himself reconciled with God through His Son, and quickened into newness of life by His Spirit, turns alike to Father, Son and Spirit with the exclamation of reverent gratitude upon his lips, "My Lord and my God!" If he could not construct the doctrine of the Trinity out of his consciousness of salvation, yet the elements of his consciousness of salvation are interpreted to him and reduced to order only by the doctrine of the Trinity which he finds underlying and giving their significance and consistency to the teaching of the Scriptures as to the processes of salvation. By means of this doctrine he is able to think clearly and consequently of his threefold relation to the saving God, experienced by him as Fatherly love sending a Redeemer, as redeeming love executing redemption, as saving love applying redemption: all manifestations in distinct methods and by distinct agencies of the one seeking and saving love of God. Without the doctrine of the Trinity, his conscious Christian life would be thrown into confusion and left in disorganization if not, indeed, given an air of unreality; with the doctrine of the Trinity, order, significance and reality are brought to every element of it. Accordingly, the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of redemption, historically, stand or fall together. A Unitarian theology is commonly associated with a Pelagian anthropology and a Socinian soteriology. It is a striking testimony which is borne by E. Koenig (Offenbarungsbegriff des Altes Testament, 1882, I, 125): "I have learned that many cast off the whole history of redemption for no other reason than because they have not attained to a conception of the Triune God." It is in this intimacy of relation between the doctrines of the Trinity and redemption that the ultimate reason lies why the Christian church could not rest until it had attained a definite and well-compacted doctrine of the Trinity. Nothing else could be accepted as an adequate foundation for the experience of the Christian salvation. Neither the Sabellian nor the Arian construction could meet and satisfy the data of the consciousness of salvation, any more than either could meet and satisfy the data of the Scriptural revelation. The data of the Scriptural revelation might, to be sure, have been left unsatisfied: men might have found a modus vivendi with neglected, or even with perverted Scriptural teaching. But perverted or neglected elements of Christian experience are more clamant in their demands for attention and correction. The dissatisfied Christian consciousness necessarily searched the Scriptures, on the emergence of every new attempt to state the doctrine of the nature and relations of God, to see whether these things were true, and never reached contentment until the Scriptural data were given their consistent formulation in a valid doctrine of the Trinity. Here too the heart of man was restless until it found its rest in the Triune God, the author, procurer and applier of salvation.

22. Formulation of the Doctrine:

The determining impulse to the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity in the church was the church’s profound conviction of the absolute Deity of Christ, on which as on a pivot the whole Christian conception of God from the first origins of Christianity turned. The guiding principle in the formulation of the doctrine was supplied by the Baptismal Formula announced by Jesus (Mt 28:19), from which was derived the ground-plan of the baptismal confessions and "rules of faith" which very soon began to be framed all over the church. It was by these two fundamental principia—the true Deity of Christ and the Baptismal Formula—that all attempts to formulate the Christian doctrine of God were tested, and by their molding power that the church at length found itself in possession of a form of statement which did full justice to the data of the redemptive revelation as reflected in the New Testament and the demands of the Christian heart under the experience of salvation.

In the nature of the case the formulated doctrine was of slow attainment. The influence of inherited conceptions and of current philosophies inevitably showed itself in the efforts to construe to the intellect the immanent faith of Christians. In the 2nd century the dominant neo-Stoic and neo-Platonic ideas deflected Christian thought into subordinationist channels, and produced what is known as the Logos-Christology, which looks upon the Son as a prolation of Deity reduced to such dimensions as comported with relations with a world of time and space; meanwhile, to a great extent, the Spirit was neglected altogether. A reaction which, under the name of Monarchianism, identified the Father, Son, and Spirit so completely that they were thought of only as different aspects or different moments in the life of the one Divine Person, called now Father, now Son, now Spirit, as His several activities came successively into view, almost succeeded in establishing itself in the 3rd century as the doctrine of the church at large. In the conflict between these two opposite tendencies the church gradually found its way, under the guidance of the Baptismal Formula elaborated into a "Rule of Faith," to a better and more well-balanced conception, until a real doctrine of the Trinity at length came to expression, particularly in the West, through the brilliant dialectic of Tertullian. It was thus ready at hand, when, in the early years of the 4th century, the Logos-Christology, in opposition to dominant Sabellian tendencies, ran to seed in what is known as Arianism, to which the Son was a creature, though exalted above all other creatures as their Creator and Lord; and the church was thus prepared to assert its settled faith in a Triune God, one in being, but in whose unity there subsisted three consubstantial Persons. Under the leadership of Athanasius this doctrine was proclaimed as the faith of the church at the Council of Nice in 325 AD, and by his strenuous labors and those of "the three great Cappadocians," the two Gregories and Basil, it gradually won its way to the actual acceptance of the entire church. It was at the hands of Augustine, however, a century later, that the doctrine thus become the church doctrine in fact as well